STA, 11 July 2020 - Srebrenica needs to stay in our memory as a warning to the international community that such atrocities must never repeat or be permitted again. Denying or relativising these tragic events is unacceptable, the Foreign Ministry wrote to mark the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. President Borut Pahor meanwhile urged reconciliation.
The ministry expects this year's commemoration to also be directed into the future. Slovenia is striving for a process of reconciliation in the area of the former Yugoslavia and for stability in the Western Balkans as a whole.
Many men began to leave the forests and surrender after realizing they had no escape. One such man was Ramo Osmanovic, who was forced by Serb soldiers to call his son, Nermin, into surrender. Both father and son were executed. #SrebrenicaGenocide pic.twitter.com/QwXsXgtPQK— Bosnian History (@BosnianHistory) July 11, 2020
The reconciliation process is key for harmony and mutual trust among nations and a European future for the region, Saturday's press release by the ministry says.
A quarter of a century is passing this year since more than 8,000 Bosniak Muslims, mainly men and boys, were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in a three-day massacre in and around the town of Srebrenica. Since 2009, 11 July has been a day for EU commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide.
The central ceremony is taking place at the Potočari memorial centre near Srebernica today, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic foreign state officials are not present in person.
Slovenian President Borut Pahor addressed participants via video, saying history could not change, but the future could. Key for the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina is truth as opposed to denial, respect as opposed to hate, open dialogue as opposed to conflicts, he said.
Forgiveness and respect for diversity is vital, he added, arguing reconciliation is not action of the past but a guarantee for coexistence and friendship that comes from a shared pain.
Moreover, a peaceful, European future for Bosnia-Herzegovina requires courage. Courage is the only thing - despite terrible pain that accompanies the memory of the victims of genocide - that can lead to forgiveness, reconciliation, dialogue, cooperation and restored trust, Pahor added in the address published on Twitter.