On July 11th, 2023, thousands of mourners arrived at the Srebrenica Memorial Center in Potočari to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. This ever-expanding cemetery serves as a final resting place for many of the approximately 8,000 Bosniak men and boys who were killed in the civilian massacres of 1995. Although nearly three decades have passed since the genocide, 30 victims were buried this year, the youngest of whom was a 15-year-old boy. Additionally, the year witnessed 71 re-associations, referring to the burial of newly found remains of victims who have already been identified and partially interred.
It has been more than thirty years since war erupted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, yet the quest for justice remains a central concern for most survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. This is primarily fueled by the absence of a transitional justice strategy and the impunity of war criminals.
Despite the overwhelming evidence, including numerous firsthand testimonies, forensic findings from mass graves, recovered items, and documented records, genocide denial and hateful rhetoric continues to plague Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the wider region.
A fundamental part of state unity is a shared sense of national identity, embodied in a flag, anthem, or passport. Despite their many differences, both Canada and Bosnia have witnessed a rise in identity politics and division which have threaten the social cohesion and national identity in both countries.
The Srebrenica genocide is commemorated in Tuzla, where many survivors came after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995. The commemoration features demonstrations demanding justice and emphasizing the importance of remembrance, a commemorative march, a recitation of the names of the genocide victims, and various other cultural activities and events. The message of the commemoration is clear: “We don’t hate, but we will never forget.”