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UN declares July 11 as Srebrenica genocide remembrance day

The United Nations General Assembly declared July 11 an international day of remembrance of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide in a resolution on Thursday.

Agencies and A News WORLD
Published May 23,2024
(IHA Photo)

The UN on Thursday passed a resolution to designate July 11 as Srebrenica genocide remembrance day, with overwhelming support from the General Assembly.

The resolution, spearheaded by Germany with co-sponsorship from more than 40 countries, calls for July 11 to be declared "International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica."

The vote passed with 84 nations voting in favor and 19 against. A total of 68 countries abstained.

Condemning the denial of the Srebrenica genocide, the resolution denounced the glorification of crimes against humanity, genocide and war criminals.

Highlighting the importance of ongoing efforts for the identification of victims and the retrieval of bodies, the resolution emphasizes the need for all perpetrators to be brought to justice.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic argued before the vote that the resolution was "highly politicized."

He said individuals responsible for the genocide had been punished, and expressed that the resolution would neither contribute to the stability and unity of Bosnia and Herzegovina nor the region, but would increase divisions.

Accusing Germany of threatening countries that did not support the resolution, Vucic posed this question: "Is that European values, democratic values?"

While not legally binding, General Assembly resolutions carry political weight and send a strong message to the international community.

Bosnian Muslims were killed in Srebrenica, despite the presence of Dutch peacekeeping troops, as Serb forces attempted to wrest the territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to form a state.

The UN Security Council declared Srebrenica a "safe area" in the spring of 1993. But troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic overran the UN zone. He was later found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing 2,000 men and boys on July 11, 1995.

About 15,000 residents of Srebrenica fled to the surrounding mountains, but Serb troops hunted them and killed 6,000 more victims.

The bodies of victims have been found in 570 areas across the country.

In 2007, the International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled that a genocide had been committed in Srebrenica.


The UN General Assembly began the session by observing a moment of silence for the deaths of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and senior government officials in a helicopter crash.

It was observed with all members of the General Assembly standing.

Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other officials were killed when the helicopter they were in went down in Iran's northwestern mountainous East Azerbaijan province on Sunday.