Press release -
Pioneering youth programme reopens following the anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide
This week marks the 26th anniversary of the genocide in which thousands of Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica were separated to be killed.
The Srebrenica genocide happened in the heart of Europe in July 1995, just a generation ago. The 8,372 victims are remembered each year in Bosnia and around the world.
It is fitting that during Srebrenica Memorial Week, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is restarting the Conflict Transformation and Srebrenica programme. The programme is financed through the European Union and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
Remembering Srebrenica is now recruiting new participants. If you are aged 18-24 and living in Mid and East Antrim you are eligible.
The programme is free and includes an initial workshop in Mid and East Antrim and a five day working visit to Birmingham to explore issues of cohesion and take part in live links to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr William McCaughey, said:
“We are very aware of how impactful this programme has been to date and how much the young leaders have got out of it. I am delighted that, despite Covid, we are still able to support the programme and that the young leaders will undertake a visit - albeit to Birmingham and not to Bosnia on this occasion.
“We have much to learn about cohesion in urban areas of Britain like Birmingham where segregation and identity and religion are factors in how communities live, work and interact.
“Exploring cohesion in urban Great Britain plus the lessons of what led to genocide at Srebrenica, the impact of hate speech and use of polarising symbols amongst other things, will make for a fascinating visit to Birmingham for the young leaders. We hope the participants will come back to reflect seriously on their learning and make a major contribution in the years to come as leaders in peace building and anti-prejudice work here in Northern Ireland.”
Peter Osborne, Chair of Remembering Srebrenica in Northern Ireland said:
“This is an opportunity for young leaders to broaden their horizons and develop their skills and knowledge. We hope in doing so it will help them make an impact for the better here in their local communities.
It is a pity that a visit to Srebrenica cannot take place in 2021, but this is the next best thing with live links to Bosnia but also with an exciting programme being lined up in Birmingham.”
It is anticipated the programme will include:
- Visit to and meeting with officials of Birmingham City Council and the Mayor of the West Midlands;
- Visit to a mosque in Birmingham;
- Visit to the Bosnia and Herzegovina UK Network Headquarters in Birmingham;
- Visit to a sixth form in Birmingham;
- Visit to a community project in Birmingham working on good relations and cohesion;
- Meeting with a campaigner on justice for Birmingham pub bombings victims;
- What happened at Srebrenica session;
- Live broadcast with Mothers of Srebrenica from Potacari/Srebrenica site;
- Live broadcast with UK Ambassador to BiH.
- Opportunity to meet with the Bosnia Ambassador to the UK;
- Presentation from a former UN Forensics Specialist.
Information sessions will be held by Zoom at 3pm and 6pm on Wednesday 18 August and 6pm on Thursday 19 August. To get the registration link please email the programme on the dedicated e-mail address: email@example.com
Match-funding for the programme has been provided by The Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.
Notes to editors:
- On 11 July 1995, Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić and his forces seized the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, which had been declared a UN “safe zone” in 1993. Over the following week, 8,372 Bosnian Muslim men and boys would be murdered simply because they were Muslim.
- Mladić’s forces systematically separated men and boys (as young as 12 years old) from the women and took them away to be killed. Women and girls were subjected to inhumane treatment, and in many cases, sexual violence. Rape was used to destabilise and terrorise the local population throughout the 1992 – 1995 genocide. It is estimated that between 20,000 – 50,000 women were subjected to sexual violence in Bosnia during the genocide.
- Both the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia have ruled Srebrenica a genocide. In March 2016, Radovan Karadžić, former President of what is now known as the Republika Srpska, was found guilty of the genocide at Srebrenica. He is the most senior figure to be convicted of genocide since Nuremburg. Ratko Mladić was found guilty and sentenced to life for the genocide in Srebrenica and crimes against humanity across Bosnia and Herzegovina in November 2017 which was upheld in an appeal judgment that was delivered in June 2021.
- The UK is the only country outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina that commemorates the genocide at a national level.
- Remembering Srebrenica is the UK organiser of the EU-designated Srebrenica Memorial Day on 11 July. The charity is part-funded by the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government, and is supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Prime Minister.
- The Charity has created 1,450 Community Champions all committed to tackling hatred by organising memorial events, giving talks and educating people about genocide, as well as promoting community cohesion.
- Remembering Srebrenica has educated over 130,000 young people through education packs on the lessons from the Srebrenica genocide for use in secondary schools in the UK and other educational activities.
- The Charity has established three country boards for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and eight regional boards in England all working to tackle hatred and build cohesion in their communities.
- The Charity holds nearly 2,000 annual memorial events and activities in schools, local authorities, places of worship, places of work, community centres, prisons and police forces across the UK.
The Charity Remembering Srebrenica & Memorial Week
For further information on the work of the charity please visit:
Twitter: @SrebrenicaUK @RemSrebNI
You can also contact Peter Osborne 07803 717 930 or firstname.lastname@example.org or @OsborneTweets