An inter-faith and cross-sectoral delegation from Northern Ireland will be visiting Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of the Remembering Srebrenica programme to learn about the genocide and the consequences of hate.
The delegation will be led by the Chair of Remembering Srebrenica Northern Ireland, Peter Osborne, who said:
“As a region still coming out of a conflict sparked and sustained by lack of understanding of others, people from Northern Ireland should realise the long-term impact of communal violence.
As we consider what is happening all over the world, let us draw on the lessons of Srebrenica. That hate motivation crosses all boundaries, backgrounds and faiths. That the consequences can be life-changing for individuals and families, but also devastating for whole communities and countries.
The only real solution to countering hate is to build relationships and develop understanding of the other. Because the world over, relationship dismantles bigotry, relationship dismantles intolerance, relationship dismantles racism and relationship dismantles sectarianism.”
Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson, who is also travelling on the delegation, said:
“Although every situation is different, In Bosnia-Herzegovina, as in Northern Ireland, the past throws a long shadow over the present. The genocide in Srebrenica claimed 8,372 lives in just a few days.
I am attending with others to remember those who lost their lives and to learn about the challenges that victims and survivors still experience many years later.
We know from our own experience that victims’ needs are often over looked. It is important to learn from the experience of others and provide support.”
The group will learn about the genocide in Srebrenica which happened 22 years ago when General Ratko Mladić and his Bosnian Serb forces marched into the town of Srebrenica and systematically murdered 8,372 Bosnian Muslim men and boys. The delegation will hear from educational specialists, the British Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Mothers of Srebrenica and other survivors of the genocide.
The ‘Lessons from Srebrenica’ visit is part of Remembering Srebrenica’s wider education programme which has created over 1,000 Community Champions against hatred and seen over 32,000 young people learning the lessons from this genocide and using it to strengthen communities in the UK.