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Harrow remembers Srebrenica

by Marco Cillario Tue 26 July 2016, 12:04 pm

A week of commemorations took place in Harrow from 11 to 17 July 2016 to remember the victims of the genocidal massacre in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

A Remembering Srebrenica flag was raised outside Harrow civic centre and Councillor Rekha Shah, mayor of Harrow, led a commemorative event in the council chamber to mark the 21st anniversary of the atrocity.

During the Balkans conflict of 1992-1995, Srebrenica was put under the watch of the United Nations Protection Force in 1993. It was captured in July 1995 by general Ratko Mladić and his army of the self-proclaimed Republika Srpska.

In the days following Srebrenica’s fall, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were systematically massacred and buried in mass graves, in an attempt to ‘ethnically cleanse’ the town. It is regarded as the greatest atrocity on European soil since the second world war.

The International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia ruled that Srebrenica’s mass execution constituted genocide. Radovan Karadžić, Bosnian Serb leader at that time, has been given a 40-year sentence.

Remembrance ceremonies in Harrow took place four months after Councillor Sue Anderson, portfolio holder for community, culture and resident engagement, visited the Bosnian town on a trip organised by Remembering Srebrenica, a UK charity set up to ensure that the genocide is not forgotten.

Anderson said she was “particularly moved” by the testimonies of survivors and that there were “obvious parallels” with the Holocaust, the mass murder of Jews perpetrated by Nazis during the second world war.

She added: “One of the most horrible things anyone can do is to try and divide communities. It is now more important than ever that we all come together, form good relations and respect each other so that we can create a more cohesive society – not just for us but for future generations.”

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