Vatican News

Srebrenica: the Grand Mufti of Bosnia on the need for reconciliation

On 11 July 1995 Bosnian-Serb troops killed over 8000 Muslim boys and men in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Grand Mufti emeritus of Bosnia reflects on the concept of reconciliation and says although the direct culprits have never apologized, he is proud no act of vengeance has been perpetrated.

By Alessandro Di Bussolo
The world is marking the Srebrenica genocide in which more than 8000 innocent Muslim boys and men were killed by Bosnian Serb troops in July 1995. The massacre took place although the Srebrenica enclave had been declared a ‘safe area’ under UN protection.

Mustafa Ceric, who was born in the Bosnian town of Visoko, is the Grand Mufti emeritus of Bosnia. He was the spiritual leader of Bosnian Muslims at the time of the genocide and he was recently in Rome to receive a prize for peace.

In an interview with Vatican Radio he talks about how “Reconciliation” is based on truth, justice and confession, and says that in order for the victims to be able to forgive the perpetrators of the massacre, an apology must take place.

The Grand Mufti says that in Bosnia-Herzegovina this is not what victims have been hearing. He talks about how those that committed the genocide and were sanctioned by the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague have become trophies of those who are trying to cover up their own crimes.

He reflects on the fact that it is difficult to distinguish individual guilt from collective guilt, and says that in order to be able to say all Serbs are not guilty, those who are responsible must be made accountable and apologize for their actions.

11 July 2019, 17:19