“In a context of war and of human history, these crimes are unknown for their cruelty and scope”: The 2007 ruling of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) located in The Hague, finding three former high-ranking Bosnian Serb officers guilty of genocide in Srebrenica.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Europe and the world have been revisiting – each year for the last 17 years – the memory of the most horrific crime in the post World War II history of the continent with the hope that it will never happen again. The same was said in 1945. Still, it did happen again, and not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Srebrenica it happened a year after the Rwandan genocide. And it happened for the whole world to see.
In July 1995 in the small eastern Bosnian town 8,372 innocent Muslim men and boys, about 500 below the age of 18, were murdered in a cold-blooded massacre. It was meant to be another stepping stone to the fulfillment of the Serbian leadership dream of a Greater Serbia. Yet, it became a shocking example of human downfall and political folly. It also became the worst and last atrocity to be committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in what Diego Arria, a former Venezuelan Permanent Representative to the United Nations, already in 1992 defined as slow-motion genocide. Continue reading