President Stevo Pendarovski in a video message on Saturday commemorated the Srebrenica genocide that took place 25 years ago, when more than 8,000 Bosniaks, mostly men and children, were systematically killed.

This is, without a doubt, one of the darkest events in modern European history for which there is no rational justification, he says.

Some of the perpetrators have already faced justice before the International Court of Justice. Some of the survivors gained courage to look into the eyes of their executioners and to forgive those who repented of their crimes. But many continue to live with the horrific traumas further reinforced by the denial and relativization of the truth about the crime, Pendarovski says in the video message.

The Memorial Center and the Mothers of Srebrenica, the President stresses, through a clear message, testify of the collective past and are the conscience of our generation.

“They do not incite hatred, nor do they seek revenge, for it deepens injustice. They only seek truth and justice as a precondition for peace.”

History, he says not only in the Balkans, teaches us that the idea of ethnically pure territories always leads to tragedy. And the recent Balkan wars have shown that genocide, after the Holocaust, can be repeated. If one generation does not speak, the next will forget, thus leaving a fertile ground for new conflicts.

In addition to memory, alternatives are built through education that promote solidarity and compassion for the other, respecting the innate dignity of each person. Unity in diversity is protected by mechanisms that combat systemic injustice, Pendarovski adds.

The 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, he says, comes at a time of a pandemic of COVID-19 that every day kills thousands of people around the world.

Srebrenica is a reminder of the dangerous virus of intolerance to the diversity, Pendarovski underscores.

The President calls for societies in which there is a place for each of us. “Let us make a home in which we can accept each other despite our differences. Because we are all human.”