The former Dutchbat headquarters in Potocari (Srebrenica, Bosnia and Hercegovina) are to be thoroughly renovated, turned into a museum and opened up to the public.
Dutchbat veterans will also help restore an old watch-tower on the site and an observation post in the mountains. The buildings that are to be renovated are part of the Potocari Memorial Centre. The memorial centre and Dutch peace organisation PAX will receive financial support from the Dutch embassy in Sarajevo for this project.
A number of rooms in the former headquarters will be restored to their condition in 1995, when Dutchbat was using the building. A few of the rooms will house an exhibition with photos by well-known Bosnian and Dutch photographers, as well as Dutchbat veterans. Stories and information provided by Dutchbat veterans will also be presented, in Dutch, English and Bosnian.
Support from the Netherlands
The Dutch embassy in Sarajevo is providing financial support and the Dutch ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs are also involved via, among other things, providing photos, maps and documents. The renovation of the former headquarters is the result of requests by survivor organisations, discussions with Dutchbat veterans, a visit by a Dutch Parliament delegation to Srebrenica and political pledges made by Dutch government ministers.
Peace organisation PAX will coordinate training for guides and employees at the Potocari Memorial Centre, in close collaboration with the Kamp Westerbork Memorial centre, and will facilitate working visits to the Netherlands for directors and staff at the centre and the association of survivors of Srebrenica. Both organisations have already been supporting the gradual and incremental development of the memorial centre in Potocari for the past ten years.
PAX is delighted with the Dutch financial support. Dion van den Berg from PAX: “This project offers many of the Bosnian and Dutch individuals that were involved, additional opportunities to use their stories and experiences to reinforce Srebrenica’s message to the world.”
The aim of the project is to collect and provide access to as much important information about Srebrenica as possible. This is not about a quest for the ultimate truth about Srebrenica; stories and visions that contradict one another will be presented side-by-side.
The Dutch government has already provided a significant financial contribution towards the creation of the cemetery opposite of the former compound and a subsidy for the ‘Black Box’, the first small exhibition space in another building on the site.Community Based Security and Citizens Rights, Europe