Denial over Srebrenica dealt blow over Karadzic ruling
The evidence is overwhelming, but genocide deniers and those that hide behind them, by saying they're only citing their views, abound
They are still burying the dead, 18 years after the fall of Srebrenica, as the painstaking DNA analysis from what can be just fragments continues to identify remains from 300 mass graves.
This week, the UN Yugoslav War Crime Court ruled to uphold a charge that Radovan Karadzic had genocidal intent in his actions at the start of the 1992 conflict. Despite court rulings that the specific events and circumstances in the fall of Srebrenica were genocide, some still argue against this without consulting the volume of evidence collected.
The evidence is overwhelming, but genocide deniers and those that hide behind them, by saying they're only citing their views, abound. However, the historical record and the scientific evidence is there.
Over 400 remains from the genocide have been laid to rest to mark the anniversary. As those massacred are honoured, we remember that in my life time and yours, in Europe, something our forefathers vowed would never happen again after the Second World War did in fact happen.
Genocide. In Europe: 8,000 people killed with the intention to devastate and harm the Bosnian people; a crime against humanity.
As William Hague, British Foreign Secretary, put it:
"Some say that the legacy of Srebrenica can be seen in our foreign policy decisions today and that the lessons from Srebrenica apply as much to the international community as they do to the people and politicians of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The world was shaken by the events of summer 1995, and it is hard to deny that the international community was found wanting.
"One day, the true legacy of Srebrenica should be that such violence is never perpetrated again, whether in Europe or anywhere else in the world."
US Secretary of State John Kerry’s press release is apt regarding the deniers:
"As we know from history, truth and reconciliation are essential to moving beyond the past towards a better tomorrow. We applaud those who continue to seek justice for the victims and work to ensure that all citizens have the right to return and to live peacefully in their pre-war homes.
"We reject efforts to rewrite or manipulate history, deny the genocide, or negate Bosnia and Herzegovina’s multiethnic character.
"We must always challenge falsehood, we must combat it, and we must counter it with truth, wisdom, and compassion.The fragility of a just society means that we have an obligation to be eternally watchful against the forces arrayed against it."
Mr Secretaries we will hold you to your word and remind you of somewhere; Syria. One day may the legacy of Srebrenica be acted on without hesitation to protect humanity.
It cannot come soon enough.
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