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Remembering Srebrenica 26 Years On

Today marks 26 years since the harrowing genocide of more than 8,000 Muslims between the ages of below 7 and over 70 at Srebrenica, Bosnia, at the hands of Serbia’s military.

On July 11th, 1995, three years into the Bosnia civil war, Serb militants, led by General Ratko Mladic, entered the eastern town of Srebrenica after it was declared a UN Safe Zone, ‘protected’ by a lightly armed Dutch peacekeeping force of around 600 troops, commissioned by the UN. ‘Incapable’, ‘unwilling’, or complicit, the UN-sanctioned Serb militants to enter the demilitarised ‘safe-haven’, embarking on premeditated mass murder aided by the international community’s indifference. [1]

On the 24th anniversary of this enormous late-twentieth-century failing of humanity, the largest atrocity on European soil since World War II, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged we acknowledge the terrible crime and the inaction of the international community.

“The international community, and in particular the UN, has accepted its share of responsibility…and has worked hard to learn from the lessons of its failures” said Mr. Guterres. [2]

In a statement by the High Representative of the European Union and the Commissioner Johannes Hahn, the genocide dramatically violated “respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy” and equality as NATO remained complacent and indecisive, despite full knowledge of imminent genocide. [3] [4] It was only after the international community’s promise of protection for civilians was declared that Bosnian volunteers defending the town surrendered their weapons.

This paved the way for the unhindered ethnic cleansing of native Bosniaks as well as up to 50,000 cases of systematic rape and sexual enslavement. [5] Victims are being disinterred from mass graves to this very day. Declassified CIA cables reveal that Britain and the US knew for six weeks that Srebrenica would fall.

On the 22nd anniversary in 2017, Outreach Director of CAGE, Moazzam Begg, said with regards to the Bosnian conflict and the Srebrenica Genocide:

“In 1994, I took the first of numerous trips to bring aid to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and helped to defend them. Like many others, I was horrified by the murder, torture and mass rape which was meted out against the Muslims of Bosnia and perpetrated at notorious concentration camps like Omarska, Trnopolje and Uzamnica.

All of this happened before the killing of 8,000 men and boys at Srebrenica – a place where internally displaced Bosnian Muslims had sought refuge in since it was a designated safe zone under the protection of Dutch United Nations soldiers.

In today’s ‘post-ISIS’ world, it is a sobering reminder that the largest genocide of civilians in Europe since World War Two, was carried out by people who described themselves as followers of Christianity and secularism.

As well as the unimaginable loss faced by the victims and their relatives, we must never forget that many who today claim higher values and principles, simply stood by and watched.” [6]

But how has the UN, the US or the UK learned the ‘lessons of its failures’ and how can they palpably admit responsibility in light of an ongoing reality? How do the nations of the world manage to shed ‘crocodile tears’ over the Bosnian Muslims, on the back of “historical facts… documented extensively”, [7] when the US continues, in the unmistakable present, to protest its invasion of Iraq and ensued genocide a ‘liberation’, having surrendered it to Mullahs of Qom and Iranian militia-men.

What differentiates Serbian militias from the Iraqi anarchic ‘Popular Mobilisation’ force, responsible for exacting the same fate on Iraqi refugees, massacring up to 900 from Fallujah alone, [8] and now doing the same in Mosul alongside US aerial support? In a single airstrike, the US admitted to killing 200 civilians including women and children; independent UK based monitoring groups have put the number closer to 3,000. [9]

In reality, the US and EU’s ‘recognition of its past failures’ is one as forged as its present success. Eastern Europe was ‘close to home’ and, whilst the perpetrator was a rogue terrorist, it had no control of the narrative. Unfortunately, the 24,000 airstrikes on Mosul, Fallujah, Aleppo and Libya and the concurrent genocides across the Muslim world were all executed by an administration that controls the narrative, funds a fifth of the UN’s $5.5 billion operating budget and decides which genocide are ‘bad enough’ and which political circumstances are ‘right enough’ to shed its dry tears.

Source: www.islam21c.com


[1] http://uk.businessinsider.com/srebrenica-bosnia-genocide-2017-7?r=US&IR=T

[2] http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57153#.WWY-9elGnIU

[3] https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage_en/29651/Statement%20by%20Federica%20Mogherini%20and%20Johannes%20Hahn%20on%20the%20Anniversary%20Commemoration%20of%20the%20Srebrenica%20Genocide

[4] https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/bosnia1095web.pdf

[5] Ken Booth (6 December 2012). The Kosovo Tragedy: The Human Rights Dimensions. Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-136-33476-4.

[6] https://www.cage.ngo/reflecting-on-srebrenica-moazzam-begg

[7] http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57153#.WWY-9elGnIU

[8] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/fallujah-isis-iraq-shia-militias-popular-mobilisation-battle-civilians-kidnapped-missing-massacred-a7121266.html

[9] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-air-strike-mosul-200-civilians-killed-isis-northern-iraq-pentagon-central-command-islamic-state-a7651451.html

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