Peace organisation PAX supports the survivors of the Srebrenica massacre and the next of kin of those who perished. It supports their campaigns for truth and justice, it organises commemorations and stimulates dialogue between Dutch battalion members and surviving dependants.
The Srebrenica drama unfolded during the war in Bosnia (1992-1995) in former Yugoslavia. More than 7,000 Muslim boys and men were murdered in the massacre. They were under the formal protection of a UN battalion made up of Dutch soldiers, called Dutchbatters.
'The Past Continues' initiative offers more than 100 young people from the Western Balkans an opportunity to reflect on their parents’ war, waged during the nineties. In ethnically mixed groups they will do research, they will pay field visits and interview people involved in the events back then. PAX is a partner in this program, and will assist as resource organisation and in the organisation of some of the field visits. This program is part of PAX Regional Dealing with the Past Program for the Western Balkans. Read a blogpost about the initiative.
More than 10 years ago, PAX started its support for the municipality of Srebrenica in conjunction with several Dutch municipalities. The municipality of Heumen is our most important partner in this neighbourhood action project.
In 2007, Kamp Westerbork and PAX organised a trip for Dutchbatters to revisit Srebrenica. This included a meeting with the women of Srebrenica. This meeting led to a series of subsequent meetings and activities. One such was our work with several Dutchbatters to locate a mass grave within the Dutchbat compound in Potocari that was unearthed in 2012.
A national commemoration of the genocide in Srebrenica is held every year in the Hague on July 11 at 15:00. Prior to the ceremony, participants take part in a peace march symbolizing how men tried to escape from Srebrenica by fleeing through the woods and mountains. On the same day, in Srebrenica itself, the remains of victims identified during the past year are buried at the Potocari Memorial Cemetery.
We support the campaign for truth and justice for surviving dependants and Srebrenica survivors. This campaign supports the lobby in Bosnia and Herzegovina that works for the arrest and trial of war criminals, the search for and identification of murder victims, the return of refugees to Srebrenica and the Srebrenica city government's advocacy on behalf of the massacre's survivors.