Foreign Secretary Statement on the 25th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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On the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has reiterated the UK’s commitment to supporting reconciliation across the Western Balkans.

Today (11 July) marks twenty-five years since the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the worst atrocity in Europe since the end of the Second World War. More than 8,000 mostly Muslim men and boys were murdered and over 20,000 women and children were forcibly expelled from their homes.

The UK calls on leaders in the region to fulfil the commitments they agreed at the 2018 London Summit. The Foreign Secretary has urged all parties to reject hate speech and the glorification of the perpetrators of genocide and war crimes, and stressed that verdicts from international and domestic courts must be respected.

The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab said:

On the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, we remember the victims and the anguish of their families.

During my time in The Hague between 2003 and 2006, pursuing those responsible for this dark chapter in European history, I was reminded daily of the heinous cruelty perpetrated against the innocent.

The UK is determined to end impunity and help rebuild those countries affected – as our commitment to the ICC, and UK investment and support for Bosnia demonstrates.

Further information / notes to editors

  • Two international courts, the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former-Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), after exhaustive legal processes, have ruled that Srebrenica was a genocide.

  • Over the past 25 years the UK has provided millions of pounds of financial support projects relating to Srebrenica, including support for the families of the victims and assistance to help find those who are missing.

  • The UK will continue to support the victims’ families in their fight for justice. The UK provides political, financial and logistical support to the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (formerly-the ICTY) in their work to hold perpetrators to account.

  • 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)

  • In 2015 HRH The Princess Royal visited Srebrenica for 20th anniversary commemoration service. HRH The Prince of Wales was due to visit Srebrenica earlier this year. His visit was postponed due to the COVID 19 outbreak.

  • In 2018 at the Berlin Process Western Balkans Summit in London, the UK negotiated the signing of three joint declarations. All the Berlin Process Leaders signed the joint declarations on war crimes, missing persons and on regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations in the framework of the Berlin Process.

  • 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.

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