Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, reflects on his visit to Srebrenica.
“My visit to Srebrenica was one of the most moving moments of my life. While I was certainly aware of the history of atrocities there and the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina more generally, nothing can quite prepare you for seeing firsthand the site where such evil was perpetrated on humans by humans.
Looking at the memorial on which the names of all who perished are inscribed, certainly brought home the scale of what happened there. However, it was the individual names that brought home to me the enormous personal costs. Generations of men from the same family were wiped out. I also spoke to a lady who had lost her father, brothers and sons. She was in her 50s but looked two or three decades older than that; such was the pain and anguish etched into her face.
Just as it is important to commemorate the Holocaust in World War II, and for young people to visit Auschwitz to learn of the evil that was done there within living memory, so too is it vital for stu- dents to know what happened in Srebrenica and for us all to commit to stop further persecution and genocide.
This happened in our continent just two decades ago. We cannot be complacent and assume similar atrocities could not happen again somewhere on our planet. That is why it is important that we keep the history of Srebrenica fresh in our memory and resolve to pro- mote tolerance and understanding.”