Never Again, Again

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 31, 2006 | Go to article overview

Never Again, Again


Byline: James Morrison, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Never again, again

Every year, on the anniversary of one of the worst massacres of the 20th century, the ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina wonders whether the world will ever learn from the mass graves of the victims at Srebrenica and the broken spirits of the survivors.

"The free and democratic world needs to stand on the side of the weak and not allow atrocities like this to happen. It's as simple as that," Ambassador Bisera Turkovic said in a recent interview.

Mrs. Turkovic told our correspondent Katie Stuhldreher that the annual commemoration of the massacre at Srebrenica takes an "overwhelming" emotional toll on the survivors and the relatives of the 8,000 men and boys killed by Serbian forces on July 11, 1995, during the Bosnian war in former Yugoslavia.

The ambassador noted that the annual event includes proper burials of those exhumed from the mass graves and identified for reinterment. This year, 500 bodies were identified and buried in marked graves, she said.

The tragedy shamed the international community because the United Nations had declared Srebrenica to be a "safe haven" for Bosnians, then did nothing to stop the slaughter, she said.

"What hurts the most is that the international community allowed such unbelievable atrocities to happen on its watch and that after the war Srebrenica was not given a special status," Mrs. Turkovic said.

"Srebrenica is the personification of humans' inhumanity. The world should never allow such atrocities to happen anywhere in the world."

The ambassador said that 11 years later, many Bosnians remain embittered when they recall that the civilized world declared after the Holocaust that it never again would allow such mass killings.

"In Srebrenica, and in Bosnia as a whole, 'never again' .. was allowed to happen," Mrs. Turkovic said. One of the challenges her government faces is to ensure that young Bosnians remember the sacrifices made by their parents and grandparents during the war. …

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