July 11, 2013
Today the people of Bosnia struggle
to keep alive their unrealized memories,
and unforgettable futures,
for the souls of their lost loved ones
The pain is still fresh
We should face with it !
Europeans, we can not and should not escape from the past century’s disturbing memories while or if we want to build a better Europe in the 21st century.
Seventeen years ago today, some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were rounded up and murdered by the Serbian troops. The killings were allegedly ordered by ex-Serb military leader Ratko Mladic, who is today on trial in The Hague.
The memories are still hurting very much. For several years, the awful negligence by Europe, the representative of still the best democracies in the World, deepened the pain.
Today a special ceremony is was held in Srebrenica. It is Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II.
This anniversary was the first time Bosnia mourns the massacre while knowing that the two alleged, leading perpetrators, Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic and political leader Radovan Karadzic, are on trial before the UN war crimes court.
Serbia’s new President Tomislav Nikolic claimed last month that the killings not constituted “genocide”.
Exactly one month before the 17th anniversary of the massacre, in the inauguration ceremony of Serbian President Nikolic, EU Commissioner Füle had represented the European Union. Many leaders boycotted the ceremony due to his comments on the Srebrenica massacre.
It was reported in the media that “You should meet the expectations of your people and the entire region, and take Serbia closer to the EU,” Füle said, adding that he looked forward to building cooperation with Nikolic and other Serbian institutions.
In Washington, President Obama issued a statement honouring the memory of the “8,000 innocent men and boys” massacred in Srebrenica. “The name Srebrenica will forever be associated with some of the darkest acts of the 20th century,” Obama said, adding that the United States “rejects efforts to distort the scope of this atrocity, rationalize the motivations behind it, blame the victims, and deny the indisputable fact that it was genocide.”
The reactions from Brussels once again remained on EU institutions’ websites rather than delivering messages to EU citizens.
Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy made the following statement:
“The Srebrenica commemoration is a day on which great pain is felt by many both inside and outside Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our thoughts are with all those who lost loved ones in the July 1995 genocide. Srebrenica remains a silent memorial to unspeakable crimes against humanity. Today’s commemoration underlines the responsibility of those in positions of authority both inside Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the region to contribute to the process of justice, reconciliation, and recognition of what happened. We look to them to make further progress towards a future in which events like those in Srebrenica are unimaginable and the victims of past crimes are honoured by all. For the survivors of Srebrenica, their pain and their grief will remain till the end of their days. Remembrance and the delivery of justice through the courts will bring consolation at best. But reconciling for the future, a better European future, is a promise that we must pursue for the next generation. “
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström commented on it through social media. Malmström wrote on Twitter : ”Seventeen years after Genocide in Srebrenica. Remembering the victims”
These statements are very clear and strong. However they are not enough to communicate important political issues, especially a moral one. Europe should be more public relations oriented and media conscious with its messages and should deliver them to the public, to the citizens, to the young generations.