Bosnia and Armenia are victims of genocide and of denial by the perpetrator regime—Serbia and Turkey, respectively.
On July 11, the world commemorated the 20th anniversary of the atrocity in Srebrenica.
Just months before, the world commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Twenty years ago, during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosnian Serb forces advanced on the Srebrenica enclave, designated a U.N. safe area, where thousands of Bosnian Muslims had taken refuge.
After Srebrenica fell to Bosnian Serb forces, despite the presence of the U.N., more than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were separated from the rest of the population and deliberately killed, constituting genocide with the intent to destroy in whole or in part an ethnic group, under the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Serbia denies the Srebrenica atrocity constitutes genocide. Serbia’s ally, Russia, this month vetoed a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the Srebrenica crime, because it contained the word “genocide.”
The Armenian Genocide, committed by the Ottoman Empire, is still denied by the Turkish government.
Yet, that did not stop Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu from attending the 20th anniversary commemorations in Srebrenica.
Similarly, when Armenia commemorated the 100th anniversary of the genocide in Yerevan, foreign dignitaries that attended the events included Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolić.
Sadly, Bosnia and Armenia have become pawns on the global political chessboard.
The importance of remembering such atrocities is to hope that they are never committed again. Yet, humanity has failed on this count.
The previous and current century is littered with genocide, including in Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur, and the Holocaust.
When it comes to genocide, the word games must stop, and the victims’ memory must be respected.
Sassoon Grigorian will be climbing Mount Ararat next month in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and to raise funds for Syrian-Armenian children refugees. To learn more, visit https://give.everydayhero.com/au/climbing-mount-ararat-2015.