Conclusions of the "Long Table"
Oct 1, 2007Saturday, September 1st 2007 marked the conclusion of “International Cooperation for Memory”, a week-long event organised by the association Tuzlanska Amica from Tuzla, BiH, and by the Alexander Langer Foundation from Bolzano, Italy. Participants included representatives of the local population and local organisations, experts and interested people coming from Bosnia, different Post Yugoslav countries, Italy, Germany and Great Britain, as well as a survivor of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
The town of Srebrenica has been deeply wounded by the war in Bosnia and Post Yugoslav countries, which has caused suffering and death on all sides and ended with the genocide of more than 8,000 Muslims, carried forward in the total indifference of the rest of Europe and the world. Today, 12 years after the end of the armed conflict, the terrible consequences of war are still visible in this town: shattered houses, empty streets, a drastically reduced population with few children, the deep pain of countless families and the extreme difficulty for refugees to return to town.
The “Long Table”, a space for debate and exchange of ideas among International experts, played a crucial role within the various meetings, seminars, workshops and public tribunes organised during this International week. The “Long Table” came to the following conclusions:
1. It is necessary to reaffirm the truth about the Srebrenica genocide and to carry forward the knowledge about it;
2. It is necessary that all the victims of the genocide are recognised as such in front of society and the institutions;
3. It is necessary that those who commissioned and those who carried out the genocide are condemned before court.
4. It is necessary to provide support to the entire society of Srebrenica still suffering from the long term consequences of war and genocide and from the conspiracy of silence.
According to the participants to the “Long Table”, all of the above represents a pre-condition in order to build a collective memory of the genocide and of all the crimes committed prior and following to it. Such a collective memory should be fostered and safeguarded to the benefit of the younger generations. Only in this way will it then be possible for those who experienced the genocide in Srebrenica and especially for their children to start living again.
In this view, the “Long Table” has taken the commitment to organise, next year, another opportunity to meet for exchange and dialogue with the purpose of:
1. Fighting the conspiracy of silence;
2. Providing to the victims of genocide and war, not only from Srebrenica, the opportunity to speak out in public and be listened to;
3. Continuing the debate and exchange of ideas among experts and interested people coming from the rest of Europe and the world;
4. Providing Bosnian and International experts with the possibility to express their views on Srebrenica in Srebrenica;
5. Granting to the people living in Srebrenica a key role in a debate where nobody is judged by their belonging.