Victims of Srebrenica genocide remembered and honoured

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Ban Ki-moon (second from right) visited the memorial site for the victims of the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica. UN File Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The thousands of lives lost in the genocide in the Bosnian town, Srebrenica, 20 years ago were remembered at UN Headquarters on Wednesday.

Speaking at a commemorative event in New York, the UN Secretary-General said the atrocious murder of Muslim men and boys will forever weigh on the collective conscience of the international community.

Eight thousand unarmed Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces who overran Srebrenica during the Balkan war in 1995.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

Ban Ki-moon said the UN Secretariat, the Security Council and Member States share the blame for the crimes committed two decades ago in Srebrenica.

The UN failed in its responsibility to protect the lives of innocent civilians seeking protection from the conflict and violence around them, he added.

The UN chief spoke about his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2012.

"I felt it was my duty to pay my respects in person. The image of endless rows of tombstones is now etched in my mind. I will always remember the tears and pain of the mothers and loved ones of those who were killed because of who they were. Here today, I again extend my deepest sympathies to the families of the victims. I renew my pledge to work harder and harder, every single day, to safeguard people everywhere from assaults on their dignity and security."

Mr Ban added that the United Nations has strengthened its work for the prevention of genocide.

But he added that it is clear more must be done as the global community is still failing too many people in desperate need, from Syria to South Sudan.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’13″

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