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On Sunday in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I represented Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Australia (and my Bosnian-Australian friend Ed Husic MP) at the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. President Clinton and various European prime ministers, who were also there and who spoke inside the brick factory where many of the innocent 8000 Bosniak men and boys were murdered by the invading Serbian army.

“I have represented the events of Srebrenica in the Australian Parliament on two separate occasions. Once in 2011 and 2012

On Sunday in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I represented Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Australia (and my Bosnian-Australian friend Ed Husic MP) at the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. President Clinton and various European prime ministers, who were also there and who spoke inside the brick factory where many of the innocent 8000 Bosniak men and boys were murdered by the invading Serbian army.


Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, speaking inside the Brick Factory in Srebrenica

On 11 July 1995, Srebrenica, then a UN safe haven, fell to the hands of the army of Republika Srpska, led by General Ratko Mladic and under the direction of the then President of the Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic. What followed was an attempt at the elimination of generations of Bosniak men and boys. A genocide under the eyes of UN “peacekeepers” was perpetrated. During the speeches in the brick factory killing fields yesterday, the Dutch Foreign Minister, Bert Koenders, courageously admitted that the Dutch peacekeepers were at fault. The Geneva Conventions were broken. Families were destroyed and generations were lost.


A religious service following the commemoration

Those events should never be forgotten.The failure of the international community—especially the UN—to protect those in Srebrenica and Bosnia in the Balkans conflict is a stain on the international community’s record.Srebrenica was the worst atrocity committed in the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and November 1995, during which the army of Republika Srpska policies of ethnic cleansing, with the support of Slobodan Milosevic, led to the displacement of two million people and the massacre of 200,000, not to mention the tens of thousands that were torture and abused.Between 12 and 16 July, invading army and police separated Bosniak men aged between 16 to approximately 60 or 70 from their families. The Mladic forces executed 8,000 men and boys and forcefully deported 25,000 women, children and elderly. These men, women, children and elderly had sought refuge and safety under the protection of the United Nations.


The remains of 136 newly identified victims are carried to their resting places

It’s regrettable that the Serbian Prime Minster was pelted at the ceremony by a few stupid individuals. It is worse that under the aggressive leadership of President Vladimir Putin, the world and the memory of these victims was insulted. As Former US President Bill Clinton said, it was good that the Serbian Prime Minster attended, and it is regrettable that relations in the Balkans were set back when the Belgrade Government requested Mr Putin, in Moscow, veto the genocide resolution. Worse, still is that a responsible member of the Security Council, Russia, set back the process of reconciliation with this provocative veto of a purely symbolic resolution of sympathy to mass murder.


War damage in Sarajevo

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Source: CNN’s Christiane Amanpour reporting from the commemoration

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