The United States Mourns Bosnian Genocide Victims
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release July 11, 2010
Statement by the President on the 15th anniversary of the genocide at Srebrenica
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the genocide at Srebrenica, and on behalf of the United States, I join my voice with those who are gathered to mourn a great loss and to reflect on an unimaginable tragedy.
Fifteen years ago today, despite decades of pledges of “never again,” 8,000 men and boys were murdered in these fields and hills. They were brothers, sons, husbands, and fathers, and they all became victims of genocide. I have said, and I believe, that the horror of Srebrenica was a stain on our collective conscience. We honor their memories and grieve with their families, as many of them are laid to rest here today. They were people who sought to live in peace and had relied on the promise of international protection, but in their hour of greatest need, they were left to fend for themselves. Only those of you who suffered through those days, who lost loved ones, can comprehend the unspeakable horror. You have carried this burden and live with pain and loss every moment of your lives.
This atrocity galvanized the international community to act to end the slaughter of civilians, and the name Srebrenica has since served as a stark reminder of the need for the world to respond resolutely in the face of evil. For fifteen years, the United States has joined with you to foster peace and reconciliation in this troubled land. We recognize that there can be no lasting peace without justice, and we know that we will all be judged by the efforts we make in pursuit of justice for Srebrenica’s victims and those who mourn them. Justice must include a full accounting of the crimes that occurred, full identification and return of all those who were lost, and prosecution and punishment of those who carried out the genocide. This includes Ratko Mladic, who presided over the killings and remains at large. The United States calls on all governments to redouble their efforts to find those responsible, to arrest them, and to bring them to justice. In so doing, we will honor Srebrenica’s victims and fulfill our moral and legal commitments to end impunity for crimes of such awful magnitude.
We have a sacred duty to remember the cruelty that occurred here, and to prevent such atrocities from happening again. We have an obligation to victims and to their surviving family members. And we have a responsibility to future generations all over the globe to agree that we must refuse to be bystanders to evil; whenever and wherever it occurs, we must be prepared to stand up for human dignity.
May God bless you all, and may God bless the memory of all those who rest here.
15th Anniversary of Srebrenica Genocide
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
July 11, 2010
Today we remember the tragic events in Srebrenica 15 years ago. I join President Obama and the people of the United States in offering our deepest condolences on this most solemn occasion. We honor the memories of the victims and mourn with their families.
The United States stands with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all countries in the region who wish to foster peace and reconciliation. We remain committed to ensuring that those responsible for these crimes face justice. We recognize that there can be no lasting peace without justice. It is only by bringing all responsible parties to account for their crimes that we will truly honor Srebrenica’s victims.
We are duty-bound – to the victims, to their surviving family members, and to future generations – to prevent such atrocities from happening again. Our common faith in the value of freedom and peace unifies us and drives us to act. That is why we are committed to working with all the communities that make up Bosnia and Herzegovina to move forward and build a pluralistic, democratic state that can take its rightful place in the Euro-Atlantic community. A prosperous, free, and unified Bosnia and Herzegovina is the most worthy monument to those who lost their lives at Srebrenica and the best guarantee against such a tragedy ever repeating itself.