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https://www.paxforpeace.nl/our-work/programmes/dialogue-promotion-dutchbat-veterans-and-survivors-of-srebrenica

Dialogue promotion Dutchbat veterans and survivors of Srebrenica

Peace organisation PAX facilitates processes of dialogue between survivors of the Srebrenica massacre and Dutchbat veterans to increase feelings of recognition, foster mutual understanding and to help to deal with traumas on all sides.

Situation & Urgency

Peace organisation PAX supports the survivors of the Srebrenica massacre and the next of kin of those who perished. PAX actively tries to stimulate processes of dialogue between the survivors, the women of Srebrenica and Dutchbat veterans. From past interventions, it is known that engaging in dialogue increases feelings of recognition and can help to deal with traumas on all sides.

Both groups have a wish to promote and support peace, but have difficulties to find the ways to do so.

Meetings
In 2007, PAX organised the first return trip by a group of Dutchbat veterans to Srebrenica, staging a first organised meeting between them and the survivors of Srebrenica at the very place where the genocide took place. Many such meetings would follow. Slowly, trust is built.

Until now, it has been mostly male Dutchbat veterans that participated in these meetings and activities. In 2016, a group of female Duchtbat veterans approached PAX, and a new project was launched. It broadens the perspective of experiences of 1995, including stories of this group of female Dutchbat veterans that decided it was time to share their experiences and tell their side of the story, briging new information and new perspectives to the fore.


Activiteiten & Resultaten

  • Case study

    PAX will promote discussion on the role of women in peace building and transitional justice, taking Srebrenica as a case study 

  • Facilitations

    PAX facilitates meetings between female Dutchbat veterans and survivors of the Srebrenica genocide. These meetings can contribute to increased feelings of recognition and can help to deal with traumas on all sides.

Challenges

  • The Western Balkans is a male-dominated society. Bringing a female perspective to the table can be met by scepticism.
  • The Srebrenica genocide has been a traumatic event for the survivors and victims’ families, but also for many Dutchbat III veterans. It can be challenging to engage new people that are willing to share their experiences with a broader audience. 

Contact information

Puco Danilovic, Programme Leader Bosnia / Serbia / Montenegro: danilovic(javascript needed for readable email)paxforpeace.nl

Obiozo Ukpabi, Programme Officer Gender, Peace and Security, ukpabi(javascript needed for readable email)paxforpeace.nl

Gender, Peace & Security, Dealing with the Past - The Balkans