Tony Lloyd is part of a Remembering Srebrenica delegation travelling to Bosnia-Herzegovina to meet with survivors of the genocide, see how Srebrenica and the surrounding region has changed since the tragedy, and learn how Bosnians are working together to build stronger, safer and more cohesive communities.
The educational visit aims to teach lessons of Bosnia’s grim past to better inform the present, as well as countering discrimination and building stronger community relations.
Tony said: “I’m really honoured to be part of this delegation visiting Srebrenica. The genocide of 1995 is one of the darkest periods in modern European history. It is still shocking to think ethnic cleansing on such a scale happened in mainland Europe just 20 years ago.
We must remember those who lost their lives – and we must ensure that such wickedness can never happen again. Initiatives such as this trip help keep that memory alive and that ambition intact.
“I was privileged to join the first Bosnian Muslim refugees who returned to Bosnia some years after being expelled from their homes. These were an elderly couple who had lived all their lives in Srebrenica before the war and were determined to go back to live out their days there. At that time there was a huge British Army presence to protect them.
“I’m looking forward to returning to Bosnia in peace to see how things have changed and see the work that has been done by survivors to build cohesion in what was once Europe’s most troubled region. I would like to thank the Remembering Srebrenica charity for organising this trip, and for inviting me along.”
The visit is part of the ‘Lessons from Srebrenica’ programme. This is committed to sending 750 individuals on its Lessons from Srebrenica over a two-year period. Each delegate pledges to carry out an activity on their return to the UK. These are designed to raise awareness of the risks of hatred, racism and intolerance, using Srebrenica as an example of an integrated society that disintegrated.
Remembering Srebrenica Chairman Dr Waqar Azmi OBE said:
“Srebrenica demonstrates what happens when an integrated society disintegrates. As Police and Crime Commissioner, we are looking Tony as a force for tackling racism, hatred and intolerance. His visit to Srebrenica will, undoubtedly, inspire him to apply the lessons of history to help continue his work in strengthening and protecting the diverse communities of Greater Manchester.”