Birmingham City Council will commemorate the victims of the Srebrenica massacre with a memorial event hosted in collaboration with charitable organisation Remembering Srebrenica.
The Srebrenica Memorial Event takes place on Monday, July 25, 2016, in the Banqueting Suite of the Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, from 6.15pm to 8pm.
The event forms part of a programme of memorials being held across the UK and will be attended by political, religious and community leaders.
The town of Srebrenica had been declared a UN safe area, but was overrun on 11 July 1995 by Bosnian Serb forces who would go on to massacre 8,373 Bosnians, mainly men and boys. This was the greatest atrocity committed on European soil since the Second World War.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transparency, openness and equality, who will be addressing the event, said: “Srebrenica Memorial Day honours the victims and survivors of the genocide. It offers a unique opportunity to remember the lives lost in Srebrenica, to highlight the continued consequences of genocide, and to reaffirm our own commitment to strong community relations here in the UK. It is through these powerful messages that we are all able to strengthen our resolve and send out a message to all those attempting to create divisions within our societies.
“I had the privilege of visiting Bosnia in March 2016, seeing the memorial at Potocari, meeting survivors and hearing the mothers of Srebrenica talk about their lost loved ones. These are all experiences that will never leave me, which is why I hope that by remembering the past in this way, lessons can be learnt to create a safer, stronger and more tolerant society for all and to teach current and future generations about the consequences of hatred and intolerance in all communities.”
The event will also include a welcome from Lord Mayor of Birmingham Cllr Carl Rice, poems by young people and prayers and candle lighting by faith leaders.
A ‘We Are One’ unity rally took place in Victoria Square, Birmingham, on July 17, bringing together and uniting communities from across the city against hate, racism and prejudice. Cllr Zaffar was among the speakers at the rally, which was organised by Remembering Srebrenica and supported by Birmingham City Council.