Ahmed Kulanic: the Day when we remember ‘Silent Witnesses’

Since 1995 on July 11th we remember the worst case of crime the Srebrenica genocide that occurred on European soil since the Second World War. The eleventh of July is, and should be, the day when we remember all of those ‘silent witnesses’, more than 8372 of them only in UN safe-zone of Srebrenica, that testify the brutality, torture, rape, mass killings, slaughtering over the innocent victims in Bosnian war. Srebrenica is a place where ‘silence’ speaks, and where the world was the most silent in July of 1995.

Remembering or commemorating the 22 years of Srebrenica genocide is still characterized by negation of those who committed the genocide, but also a vast majority of those in whose name the genocide was committed. Serbian President Vučić recently confirmed in a recent public statement the widespread fact that more than 90 percent of Serbs living in Serbia deny the Srebrenica genocide, despite the victims, court decisions, etc.

Entity of RS (Serb dominated entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina) and its representative are even more prone in opposing the Srebrenica Genocide still living the last phase/stage of genocide – its denial. Furthermore, the vast majority of Bosnian Serbs still support either publicly or privately those who organized, planned and executed Srebrenica genocide.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is still especially in relation to the recent past and historical truth about genocide in it a fragile country. The fact that there are still war-crimes and atrocities that culminated and resulted with Srebrenica genocide unprosecuted and that process is still ongoing show all inability of Bosnian society as a whole to face the past properly and learn from it. Even the international court verdicts are interpreted differently depending among different ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Reconciliation process among Bosnian society as a whole has almost failed, and today we witness that the division among ethnic groups existing in Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost at its highest point since the beginning of Bosnian war in 1992. For the way forward and starting point of reconciliation process  of a Bosnian society we could look in admitting a genocide, remembering, accepting and commemorating at least the 11th of July and Srebrenica genocide.

European Union and other great powers that remained silent during the summer of 1995, now should raise their voices and foster the reconciliation process in Bosnia and Herzegovina, based on the facts that already have been proved and sentenced at International or European courts. These verdicts, even they do not tell the whole story and will never be able to tell all types of crimes committed in Bosnia, can serve as a basis for future of this society. We must reinsure the belief in justice as the ultimate goal toward which we strife.

Never again, the motto that we heard after WWII failed in Bosnia. It happened again. The genocide and all of its forms of brutality occurred in Bosnian war.

International community, the great powers of the West and East, should ensure that the belief in justice as perceived and limited by human factor, must be restored and that ‘never again’ after the Srebrenica genocide means never again.

Creators, war-criminals and executors must be prosecuted for their crimes as the lesson for all future generations of such.

After the Srebrenica genocide we must not be silent, rather we have to raise our voice for all of 8372 and more of ‘silent witnesses’ of Srebrenica and all other ‘silent witnesses’ of Bosnian war. We need to ensure that their destiny does not repeat and ‘never again’ after Srebrenica means NEVER AGAIN.

Written by Ahmed Kulanic

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