STA, 11 July 2019 - The 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide was commemorated in Slovenia on Thursday, with senior officials calling for a Europe of peace so that such horrendous atrocities would never happen again.
The National Assembly observed a minute's silence, with Speaker Dejan Židan stressing it was our task not to forget this horrible crime.
Bosnian Serb forces killed more than 8,300 Muslims on 11 July, a few days after taking over Srebrenica, a town under UN protection.
"It is our task to reject any attempt at diminishing the crime, denying the indisputable fact that it was a genocide and rationalising the motives for it."
He stressed the promise "never again" was all too easily made and all too often broken, also consciously.
Today the international community remembers with horror the broken promise it made at the end of WWII as one of its worst mistakes, which will remain a black stain on the soul of the entire Western civilisation, Židan said at the commemoration in parliament.A news report from 1996
He warned that today's unjust inequalities and pressing social challenges posed a threat to freedom again.
But it is our moral duty to stand up to it and remember that Europe's years of peace cannot be taken for granted, said the parliamentary speaker.
Foreign Minister Miro Cerar said in a release that since 1995, 11 July had been a day of a painful memory of the Srebrenica genocide victims.
He believes commemorating them is a moral duty and a means of never forgetting the Srebrenica tragedy. "Forgiving does not mean forgetting."
Stressing the perpetrators must be punished, he said Srebreica was a reminder of where militant nationalism, hostile populism and the rhetoric based on inciting harted against other nations led.
The anniversary is also a reminder to act in a preventive manner so that Europe remains a place of peace where human rights and the rule of law are respected, he said.
"It is this kind of Europe and region that Slovenia advocates. It advocates Bosnia and Herzegovina which is part of a Europe of peace and which is a country of progress and prosperity," Cerar pointed out.
The genocide was also remembered by NGOs Averroes and Burrial Is Not Taboo in Ljubljana's City Square under the auspices of Mufti Nedžad Grabus and Mayor Zoran Janković, where a minute of silence was observed and an excerpt read from The Story of Srebrenica: A Novel about the War in Bosnia by Bosnian Isnam Taljić (1954-2017).