We at PAX have been intensively involved with Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 1991 onwards, and the aftermath of its war (1992-1995). The focus of our work is largely on the genocide and the consequences of the genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995, where more than 8000 Muslim boys and men were murdered. Srebrenica was one of six so-called UN safe areas. Dutch soldiers, also known as ´Dutchbatters´, served there for the UN, in 1994 and 1995.
The fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina may be over, but even after 25 years the war is still felt throughout the country and in the region. The international community promised protection, but failed to deliver. PAX believes that we, as the Netherlands, have a special duty with regard to Srebrenica and Bosnia, because of our role in the Srebrenica massacre. A good first step would be the recognition of the Dutch role in Srebrenica by the Dutch state, apologies for the mistakes it is responsible for, and compensation for the families of the murdered men and women.
We at PAX support the survivors of the Srebrenica genocide and the next of kin of those who perished by backing their campaigns for truth and justice. In addition, we support projects and initiatives that facilitate dialogue between groups and communities in the region. In particular the youth is encouraged to reflect on the war that their families experienced and on ways to prevent such bloodshed in the future. Together with partners we aim to foster mutual understanding. PAX is convinced that Bosnia very much needs its young citizens to overcome the ethnic nationalism, work on democratisation and pave the way to EU membership.
During this webinar, Dion van den Berg, the board of Mladi BiH and Nasiha Nuhanovic will tell us more about the current situation in Bosnia and what Bosnia needs to move forward.
About the speakers
- Dion van den Berg has been with PAX since 1977. The large demonstrations, the fall of the Wall, the Balkan Wars, he was there. According to Dion, you don’t have to have a university degree to engage in peace work in solidarity with faraway countries. He always sees opportunities to connect problems far away with problems in our own villages and cities. Currently, Dion is heading the Europe team at PAX.
- Mladi BiH is a youth association that forms a bridge between the Netherlands and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Since they organize events in which Bosnian culture plays a prominent role, people from the diaspora maintain their connections with Bosnia here. Mladi BiH has been involved in supporting initiatives and charities in Bosnia for years. In the Netherlands, they play an important role in organizing the annual Srebrenica Genocide commemoration.
- Nasiha Nuhanović, 22 years old, is a Bachelor of Law at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She was born in Tuzla, and then moved to Sarajevo, where she currently resides. Throughout her educational career, she has been very involved in the field of student activism. She has represented her colleagues at the University board meetings, done projects about the inclusion of people with disabilities, and other projects and simulations mainly focused on improving the standards of student and human rights in her home town. Most recently, Nasiha was a member of a pilot project which researched the implications of the ratification of the Mauritius convention for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Currently, she is a member of the Faculty of Law team which will represent their college on the regional competition in human rights, held in Slovenia. She also still acts as the Student Advocate, a position she was voted for by the Student parliament of the University of Sarajevo, where she has the responsibility to represent every one of the 30.000 students of the University, should they come to her about an issue with their student rights. Her future plans are continuing her education in the field of international law and human rights.