Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner visits genocide site in Bosnia
APCC Dr Lynnette Kelly has said she was deeply moved by
the sight of a graveyard for victims of a genocide in and
around the town of Srebrenica Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Dr Kelly recently returned from an educational trip to
Bosnia-Herzegovina organised by the charity Remember Srebrenica. As
part of a group of 15 from all over the UK, Lynnette visited the
town of Srebrenica, where the crime of genocide was committed in
July 1995. Thousands of people were murdered, despite the area
being deemed a 'safe area' by the United Nations. Dutch
peacekeepers who were based there failed to protect the people
sheltering in Srebrenica.
The graveyard contains the bodies of over 6,000 people whose
remains have been identified. Many people's bodies have never been
found, and in the city of Tuzla the Naming Project holds body parts
that have not been identified yet.
Dr Kelly said: "I knew the genocide had taken place, as I
remember watching stories about the war in Bosnia on the news.
Later, I remember seeing reports on the trial at the Hague, and the
declaration that what took place in Srebrenica was not just war, it
was genocide. But nothing can prepare you for the sight of row upon
row of identical headstones, going on and on into the distance. And
it was heartbreaking to see the grave of a man, and realise that
lying next to him were his two sons, his brother, and his father.
Sometimes whole families were wiped out.
Bosnia seemed to slide into war and genocide so quickly. We must
never forget what happened here. But also we must learn the lesson
from here, that creating division in society is dangerous, and the
step from casual racism to genocide actually isn't that big. Seeing
the graveyard here, learning more about the genocide, and learning
more about the war that took place here, has affected me deeply. I
am determined to learn the lessons, to always remember Srebrenica,
and to challenge racism in our society. "
Picture : APCC Dr Lynnette Kelly at the
graveyard for victims of the genocide, Srebrenica, Bosnia