Commemoration in Srebrenica to remember the victims of genocide

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In 1995, a government soldier reads out the names of soldiers who are confirmed survivors or escapees from the fallen city of Srebrenica. UNICEF/NYHQ1995-0553/LeMoyne

The lives of thousands of people "atrociously cut down" 20 years ago in the Bosnian town Srebrenica must always be remembered, the UN Deputy Secretary-General said on Saturday.

Jan Eliasson was speaking at a commemorative event in Potočari, a village where a genocide memorial honors the lives of 8000 individuals, mostly Muslim men and boys, killed by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995.

They suffered what the top UN official described as "unspeakable carnage" during one of the darkest chapters in recent history.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said the UN and the international community failed to protect the people of Srebrenica, which will and should haunt them forever.

He added that the era of impunity is over with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and the appointment of the first Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide in 2004.

But the top UN official said much more remains to be done.

"I wish that I could say that the genocide which occurred here made the world fully realize the curse of hate and the folly of division," he shared.

But he underlined tragedies still take place with what he called "grim frequency", in Syria, in Iraq, in South Sudan, in Yemen and many other places.

Mr Eliasson added that the commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide serves to recommit that hate must not be met by hate, and that the memory of those who were killed will be honoured by seeking to build a better world.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’01


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