Wakefield Town Hall memorial honours 8,000 victims of Srebrenica genocide

Councillors and faith leaders in Wakefield called upon people to unite against hatred as the community came together to mark the 27th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.

By Tony Gardner
Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 5:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 5:29 pm

An event was held a Wakefield Town Hall to remember the atrocity that was the worst on European soil since the Second World War and saw more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys murdered because of their religious identity.

The event was organised by Usman Ali, Labour councillor for Crofton, Ryhill and Walton.

The theme for this year’s memorial was Combatting Denial: Challenging Hatred.

Wakefield Council deputy leader Jack Hemingway, Council Leader Denise Jeffery, Councillor Usman Ali and Councillor Jackie Ferguson at the Remembering Srebrenica event at Wakefield Town Hall.

Coun Usman said: “There is no place for discrimination, exclusion and the promotion of hatred and extremism in our society.

“In honouring the victims and remembering the lives lost in Srebrenica, we are pledging a clear message to future generations of never again.

“We are proud to work with the Remembering Srebrenica Organisation who play such an important role in using the lessons from Srebrenica to tackle hatred and intolerance and help to build a better, safer and more cohesive society for everyone.”

Councillor Usman Ali and Wakefield Council Leader Denise Jeffery at the Srebrenica memorial at Wakefield Town Hall

Wakefield Council Leader Denise Jeffery said: “This is about making sure that people remember such a terrible thing.

“It is important not to never forget and to never stay silent.”

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On July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces, led by General Ratko Mladic overran and captured the town of Srebrenica in Eastern Bosnis, which had been declared an UN Safe Area.

In the days following, more than 8,000 mainly men and boys were systematically murdered and buried in mass graves.

Thousands of women, children and elderly were forcibly deported.

The massacre was a culmination of a campaign of ethnic cleansing used by Bosnian Serb forces during the conflict.

Throughout Bosnia, between 20,000 and 50,000 women and girls suffered sexual violence.

Concentration camps were established and many Bosnian Muslims were forced from their homes or bacme refugees.