The First Minister will travel with Remembering Srebrenica and meet survivors and the bereaved in Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina where over 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed. She will also lay a wreath at the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“It is a privilege to visit Srebrenica and learn first-hand how survivors and bereaved family members of the genocide have fought to preserve the memory of their loved ones.
“Scotland has longstanding links with Bosnia and Herzegovina, providing support and assistance to those in need during the conflict of the 1990s.
“The Scottish Government will preserve the memory of the Srebrenica genocide – the worst atrocity on European soil since the Holocaust – through education, commemoration and close relations with Remembering Srebrenica Scotland”
“We too have a role and responsibility to ensure future generations are able to remember and learn from the failure to protect Srebrenica.”
The Very Rev Dr Hood, Chair of Remembering Srebrenica Scotland will accompany Ms Sturgeon on the visit and said:
“In making this visit the First Minister is keeping her promise to the Mothers of Srebrenica and to the survivors of the atrocity who met with her after she spoke at the memorial event in St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh last year.
“Remembering Srebrenica is delighted that the First Minister has been determined to keep that promise and to support the aims of the charity to fight and challenge hatred wherever it occurs but especially in our own communities.”
Dr Waqar Azmi, Chairman and founder of Remembering Srebrenica, will also accompany the First Minister on the visit and said:
“The lessons we can learn from Srebrenica of standing up to hatred, challenging prejudice and seeing what we have in common rather than what divides us have never been more important. We have seen an increase in hate crime in the UK in recent times and Srebrenica teaches us what this could lead to, if left unchallenged. The visit of the First Minister to Srebrenica sends a powerful message that we must stand up to hatred and take positive action to build cohesive communities free from intolerance and division”
During the visit, Ms Sturgeon will meet with the President of the Association of the Mothers of Srebrenica, Munira Subasic, who lost her husband and her youngest son in the genocide. For years she searched for her youngest son, Nermin, and after 18 years of searching, his remains were finally discovered and Munira was able to bury two small bones. Today, Munira works to share her story with the world and fights tirelessly for justice for herself and the mothers of Srebrenica. She said:
“When people come to Srebrenica to hear our stories it means that there is still good in this world. At times, that was hard to believe, but we still believe in good. When we welcome visitors to Srebrenica it means that these people have come to hear our stories and to protect the most important human values and to stand with us to create a better world in challenging hatred”.