The war in Ukraine reminds Europe of the Srebrenica genocide and the grim memories of the Western Balkans war of the 1990s, the EU officials said Sunday on the eve of the 27th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.
“Europe has not forgotten what happened in Srebrenica and our own responsibility for not being able to prevent and stop the genocide,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Oliver Varhelyi, European commissioner for neighborhood and enlargement, said in a joint statement.
“In Srebrenica, Europe failed and we are faced with our shame,” they admitted.
The Srebrenica genocide should be remembered more than any other atrocity in European history, the officials said.
“There is no place in Europe for genocide denial, revisionism, and glorification of war criminals. All citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina deserve a society where pluralism, justice, and human dignity prevail,” it added.
Bosnia-Herzegovina is set to bid farewell to 50 more identified victims on Monday on the 27th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.
After Monday's burials in Potocari, the number of genocide victims laid to rest in the memorial cemetery will rise to 6,721.
More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed when Bosnian Serb forces attacked Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch peacekeeping troops.
The Serb forces were trying to wrest territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to form a state.
The UN Security Council had declared Srebrenica a "safe area" in the spring of 1993. However, troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic, who was later found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, overran the UN zone.
Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing some 2,000 men and boys on July 11 alone.
About 15,000 residents of Srebrenica fled to the surrounding mountains, but Serb troops hunted down and killed 6,000 more people.
Bodies of victims have been found in 570 different places in the country.
In 2007, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that genocide had been committed in Srebrenica.
On June 8, 2021, UN tribunal judges upheld in a second-instance trial a verdict sentencing Mladic to life in prison for the genocide, persecution, crimes against humanity, extermination, and other war crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina.