Today April 5th, remembering the Bosnian Genocide

Hi everyone,

Srebrenica Bodies

Click here to see our recommendations of good books and films about the Genocide in Bosnia.

April is here and as you are likely aware by now, it is the very first time the state of California has given it the official designation as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month.  In honor of this, we have compiled a Resource List of books and films themed around each of the past genocides that have commemorative dates in April, plus the areas that we cover.  We will be sending you emails this month noting each of the commemorative dates and encouraging you to make use of the Resource List as a way to both remember these genocides, and learn more about them.

April 5th marks the start of the Bosnian Genocide. On this day in 1992, the government of Bosnia declared its independence from Yugoslavia, which immediately prompted the Bosnian leaders to launch a war to create a separate state.  An estimated 100,000 people were killed 80% of which were ‘Bosniak’ civilians was eventually labelled a genocide.

In the late-1980’s, the heterogeneous Yugoslav federation began to cleave along ethnic lines. Civil war erupted in 1992 against a backdrop of increasingly nationalist politics, including the idea of “Greater Serbia”. Between 1992 and 1995, Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks soldiers and paramilitaries used widespread use of rape, torture and forcible displacement against civilians. The actions of some Serb units were particularly heinous, featuring attempts to eliminate non-Serb culture, a tactic soon to be known as “ethnic cleansing”. Across Bosnia and Herzegovina civilians were herded into camps as small scale massacres were committed. The most notorious of these was the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995, when more than 7,500 Bosniak men and boys in the U.N.-safe area, were executed by forces under General Radko Mladic. The estimates for the human cost of the Bosnian civil wars range from 96,000 to 200,000, with a recent University of Washington-Harvard University study placing the fatalities near 167,000.

– From GI-Net / Save Darfur Coalition [link]
Click here to see our recommended list of books and films about the Bosnia Genocide.

As we approach this remembering, there is no getting away from the horror that is inextricably linked to genocide. Yet, in contrast to the utter inhumanity of genocide, it is hard to point to anything more genuinely human than the act of remembering.  When we remember, we demonstrate the willingness the hold another in mind and absorb their story allowing it to become part of us.  We hope you will use this Resource List on Bosnia as a way to learn more of the stories.

On this day, holding the people of Bosnia in our hearts,

Barbara & Anshul
Orange County for Darfur, a project of Living Ubuntu
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