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Government to fund travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina for 750 young Britons so they can learn lessons from the war.
The government will fund places for 750 young Britons to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina to learn lessons from the 1990s Bosnian war announces Minister for Communities Stephen Williams.
All those taking part in the ‘Lessons from Srebrenica’ visits – run in partnership with the Remembering Srebrenica project – will visit the key sites of Sarajevo, Tuzla and Srebrenica. They will be expected to raise awareness of the conflict (in particular the genocide at Srebrenica) on their return to the UK and to pledge an action towards rejecting hatred and intolerance at home.
Learning lessons from European conflicts
Stephen Williams said:
We are quite rightly marking the centenary this year of the start of the First World War, but it is also right that we remember the Bosnian war including the Srebrenica genocide: the worst attack on citizens suffered anywhere in Europe since 1945. This is within living memory for many people, and we want to keep it in people’s memory.
The minister is this week in Bosnia and Herzegovina leading a Lessons from Srebrenica visit, which will include Sarajevo and Tuzla as well as Srebrenica, with a group of British young people. A further 750 young people and community leaders will be going on similar visits over the next 2 years.
The minister added:
Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide and this serves as a prompt that we must not only strive to remember the past but also learn lessons from it, and prevent repeats of its atrocities. This is why over the next 2 years hundreds of young people and community leaders, from a wide range of backgrounds, will be coming to Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the Lessons from Srebrenica project to learn from the Bosnian war and return to Britain to increase understanding of the conflict and tackle intolerance.
Dr Waqar Azmi OBE, chairman of Remembering Srebrenica said:
We are delighted that Minister for Communities Stephen Williams is able to lead a delegation of young leaders from the UK to learn lessons from Srebrenica. Remembering Srebrenica’s Lessons from the Srebrenica programme of visits is a critical education programme. It provides an opportunity to learn from the genocide with the aim of helping tackle hatred, intolerance and extremism. We are delighted to have been able to put together a diverse range of young leaders from the UK.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is part-funding this project, which also includes commemoration events for the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. The department is aiming for the project to reach people from a range of areas and backgrounds. Participants in the visits will be nominated by councils, non governmental organisations and universities.
This visit follows a recent one to Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Foreign Secretary William Hague and actress Angelina Jolie ahead of a summit on ending sexual violence in conflict.
Sarajevo was besieged for 4 years (1992 to 1996) with up to 15,000 people estimated to have died.
Tuzla was under siege in May 1995 with hundreds of civilian deaths.
Srebrenica was the site of the genocide of an estimated 8,000 people, predominantly Muslim.
The Remembering Srebrenica project is being delivered through the charity Ummah Help.
For more information on the Balkans conflict of 1992 to 1996 see the Remembering Srebrenica website
The Department for Communities and Local Government part funded the Remembering Srebrenica project in 2013 to 2014. The project sent 50 people on ‘Lessons from Srebrenica’ visits, held the UK’s first commemoration event to mark the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, and built a website.
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