International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica, 11 July

The genocide in Srebrenica

The war that followed the breakup of the former Yugoslavia claimed more than 100,000 lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995, mostly of Bosnian Muslims, and displaced more than two million others.

The massacre in Srebrenica marked one of the darkest chapters of that war.

In July 1995, the Bosnian Serb army overran Srebrenica – previously declared a safe area under UN Security Council Resolution 819 – and brutally murdered thousands of men and teenagers there. The remainder of the Bosnian Muslim population present in Srebrenica – approximately 25,000 women, children and elderly – were forcibly transferred out of the enclave.

This was the largest massacre in Europe since the Holocaust.

To date, only a few events have been determined by competent judicial bodies to constitute genocide. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) recognized the massacre of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica by the army of Republika Srpska as an act of genocide.

Remembering the victims

The genocide left deep emotional scars on the survivors, families of victims, and the Bosnian and Herzegovinian society in general, creating enduring obstacles to reconciliation among the country’s different ethnic groups.

2025 will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, in which at least 8,372 lives were lost, thousands were displaced and families and communities were devastated.

United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Wairimu Nderitu has expressed her concern over continuous incidents of revisionism concerning atrocity crimes perpetrated during the 1992-1995 conflict, including unabated denial of the Srebrenica genocide and glorification of convicted war criminals.

A day of reflection and commemoration

In May 2024, The UN General Assembly, in a resolution sponsored by Germany and Rwanda, designated 11 July as the International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica.

The Assembly also asked the Secretary-General to establish an outreach programme on the Srebrenica genocide in preparation for the 30th anniversary.

It further condemned any denial of the Srebrenica genocide as a historical event and called on Member States to preserve the established facts, including through their educational systems, towards preventing denial and distortion, and any occurrence of genocide in the future.

The inaugural observance is being marked with a high-level commemorative event, organized by the Permanent Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the UN General Assembly hall at 11 am EDT on 11 July 2024.