Srebrenica Genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Foreign Secretary's Statement on the 26th Anniversary
The Foreign Secretary has given a statement on the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Today, on the 26th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has reiterated the UK’s ongoing commitment to supporting reconciliation across the Western Balkans.
The genocide claimed the lives of over 8,000 mostly Muslim men and boys and led to the displacement of over 20,000 women and children who were forcibly expelled from their homes.
The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab said:
Today, we pause to remember the victims and honour the survivors of the Srebrenica genocide. The United Kingdom continues to play a vital role in ending impunity for these horrific crimes as we have shown by agreeing to provide the prison cell so Radovan Karadzic can serve his life sentence for the genocide.
The Foreign Secretary has urged political leaders in the region to reject hate speech, to condemn any glorification of the perpetrators of genocide and war crimes, and to respect the verdicts of international and domestic courts.
Two international courts, the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former-Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice, after exhaustive legal processes, have ruled that Srebrenica was a genocide.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to date, a total of 57 individuals have been tried at the BiH State Court for crimes committed in and around Srebrenica in July 1995. A further 20 individuals have been tried at the ICTY for crimes related to Srebrenica over the course of 12 cases. (ICMP, 2020).
Over the past 26 years, the UK has provided millions of pounds to support projects relating to the Srebrenica genocide, including support for the victims’ families and survivors.
We have an ongoing project with the Srebrenica Memorial Centre to develop its operational capacities and establish a globally relevant centre for genocide research, prevention, and reconciliation.
The UK has maintained a long standing focus on reconciliation work and projects in the Western Balkans, including:
Being one of the key donors to the construction and setting up of the Court of BiH;
Providing political, financial and logistical support to the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals; and
Funding the work of the International Commission for Missing Persons.
In 2018 at the Berlin Process Western Balkans Summit in London, the UK negotiated the signing of three Joint Declarations focusing on War Crimes, Missing Persons, and Good Neighbourly Relations. All the Berlin Process Leaders signed. These were reconfirmed on 5 July 2021 at the latest Berlin Process Summit.
The UK supports Bosnia and Herzegovina’s aspirations for Euro-Atlantic integration. Reconciliation and good neighbourly relations remain central to achieving this aim and to maintaining stability in the region.