The secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, will lead a high-level delegation of Islamic scholars from various sects to visit the site of genocide at Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the death camp at Auschwitz in Poland.
The visits come as part of an international tour to sites of injustice and persecution by members of the league, to condemn the heinous crimes committed against humanity, regardless of the identity or values of the perpetrators or victims.
As representatives of the MWL, the delegation will show its solidarity with all victims, in accordance with the peaceful values of Islam.
Earlier, it was stated that twenty-four years after the Srebrenica Genocide, it is essential to continue efforts to account for those who are still missing and to bring those who were responsible to justice, International Commission on Missing persons (ICMP) Director-General Kathryne Bomberger stated.
ICMP scientific data concerning persons missing from the fall of Srebrenica has been admitted in evidence at trials before the ICTY and courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. To date, 20 individuals have been tried at the ICTY for crimes related to Srebrenica. Of these, 15 have been convicted. The BIH State Court has put 56 individuals on trial for crimes related to Srebrenica of whom 37 have been convicted.
For more than two decades, ICMP has led the effort to account for those who went missing during the conflict and to uphold the rights of families of the missing, regardless of national, ethnic or religious affiliation.
Convicting those responsible for war crimes is an essential element in upholding the rule of law. Ensuring that governments fulfil their legal obligations to account for those who are missing as a result of these crimes and to secure the rights of all surviving families of the missing is an important element in the same process.
“Upholding a transparent and truthful account of what happened is essential for peace,” Director-General Bomberger said.
“ICMP supports the continuing demand of the families of the missing for truth and justice. The effort to account for those who went missing at Srebrenica and throughout the former Yugoslavia is an essential element in reinstating the rule of law.”
“A historical record based on scientific fact reduces the scope for unscrupulous leaders to exploit popular fears and popular resentments,” Ms Bomberger said, adding that governments and political authorities must continue to work together to resolve the remaining missing persons cases and to ensure that reliable and accurate information is provided to families and the public.
Srebrenica massacre, slaying of more than 7,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) boys and men, perpetrated by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica, a town in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, in July 1995. In addition to the killings, more than 20,000 civilians were expelled from the area—a process known as ethnic cleansing. The massacre, which was the worst episode of mass murder within Europe since World War II, helped galvanize the West to press for a cease-fire that ended three years of warfare on Bosnia’s territory (see Bosnian conflict). However, it left deep emotional scars on survivors and created enduring obstacles to political reconciliation among Bosnia’s ethnic groups.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia—established before the massacre to scrutinize ongoing military conduct—concluded that the killings at Srebrenica, compounded by the mass expulsion of Bosniak civilians, amounted to genocide. It pinned principal responsibility on senior officers in the Bosnian Serb army.
But the United Nations (UN) and its Western supporters also accepted a portion of the blame for having failed to protect the Bosniak men, women, and children in Srebrenica, which in 1993 the UN Security Council had formally designated a “safe area.”
In a critical internal review in 1999, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote, “Through error, misjudgment and an inability to recognize the scope of the evil confronting us, we failed to do our part to help save the people of Srebrenica from the [Bosnian] Serb campaign of mass murder.” Although Serbia was not legally implicated in the massacre, in 2010 the Serbian National Assembly narrowly passed a resolution that apologized for having failed to prevent the killings.