‘We must learn the lessons of Srebrenica – and address racism, hatred and intolerance in our own society’

Stephen recently joined a cross-party group of MPs on a three-day visit to Bosnia with the charity Remembering Srebrenica.

The delegation, led by the former Commander of United Nations Forces in Bosnia, Colonel Bob Stewart DSO MP, met with survivors and relatives of the victims, as well as officials from the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

Stephen is pictured at the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial.

Stephen is pictured at the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial.

On July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces led by General Ratko Mladić systematically massacred 8,372 men and boys, in the greatest atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.

The charity Remembering Srebrenica honours the memory of those men and boys, and the courage of the people left behind, and the MPs’ visit was part of their programme of educational and awareness-raising events, which includes the annual day of remembrance across the EU.

Stephen said: “The visit was incredibly moving, hugely informative, and meeting survivors was truly humbling.

“I heard harrowing tales – of a man barely a year older than myself who had miraculously survived a mass execution, only to find his father and uncle had been murdered; another man who trekked 37 days through the wilderness avoiding death squads, surviving on snails and berries to reach safety; and mothers and wives of victims who are still unable to locate their loved ones’ remains.

“We must never forget the atrocities that took place in Srebrenica. As a country and as an international community we must learn from the tragedy, and use the lessons to help address racism, hatred and intolerance in our own society.”

For further information about the charity visit: http://srebrenica.org.uk/

You can read my Penarth Times column on the visit here.

  Meeting Bosnian women who lost family members in the genocide, Stephen (far right) with Dr Waqar Azmi, chairman of the charity Remembering Srebrenica (far left), Col Bob Stewart (centre), and other MPs.


Meeting Bosnian women who lost family members in the genocide, Stephen (far right) with Dr Waqar Azmi, chairman of the charity Remembering Srebrenica (far left), Col Bob Stewart (centre), and other MPs.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *