Remembering Srebrenica: AFMA visit Bosnia to mark the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide

on August 1, 2017 by Nick Ryder

AFMA visit Bosnia to mark the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. 

Earlier this month, the Armed Forces Muslim Association (AMFA) was honoured to attend a series of events in Bosnia and Herzegovina to remember the Srebrenica Genocide of July 1995.

A delegation from AFMA, headed by Imam Asim Hafiz, travelled to the area to mark the twenty-second anniversary of the massacre, in which more than 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks, mainly men and boys, were murdered during the Bosnian War.

The UN has described the brutal ethnic cleansing as the worst crime on European soil since World War Two.

A range of events took place to mark the anniversary. AFMA’s delegates participated in the poignant remembrance, meeting prominent Bosnian armed services personnel and discussing future cooperation with the Ministry of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After a reception hosted by the Military Mufti Office, AFMA joined the Chief Imam of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nesiba-ef. Hadzic and brigade imam Sejdalija-ef. Hrnjica, in the March of Peace.

This annual event, or Mars Mira as it is more commonly known, is a commemorative walk in honour of the 15,000 men who embarked upon a perilous 63-mile walk from Srebrenica to Tuzla, in an attempt to escape Serb persecution. It was a somber three-day trek to remember the victims and to protest over the outstanding arrests and prosecution for those responsible for the Srebrenica genocide.

AFMA also visited the Medjlis Islamic Community of Srebrenica, met with the mufti of Tuzla, Vahid-ef. Fazlovićem, and attended a meeting with Reisu-l-ulema of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina to discuss how the Imam’s service in the Bosnian and UK armed forces could work together in the future.

The main event of the visit was the commemoration at the memorial center in Potocari. AFMA was among more than 20,000 people who gathered at the site to mourn those killed in the July 1995 massacres and bury 71 more victims whose bodies were identified over the past year.

“More than twenty years on, the genocide of thousands of Muslims is not forgotten. It is still fresh in the minds of many, and present due to the ongoing calls for justice and the continuing burials of those who lost their lives,” says Imam Asim Hafiz.

“We were honoured and moved to participate in such an important event, to remember the dead and to pay our respects.

“AFMA is working alongside other Muslim members of the Bosnian armed services to ensure lines of communication are open, to show our support and share knowledge and understanding. We are stronger, together, and our trip to commemorate such a tragic event has brought us closer. Building peace is our main objective to ensure that atrocities like the Srebrenica Genocide never happen again.”

The Armed Forces Muslim Association (AFMA), was set up in recognition of the contribution Muslim personnel make across all three services, both in the Regular and Reserve forces.

From the earliest days of basic training, through to deployment and military operations, AFMA is on the ground helping support British Muslims in the Armed Forces, helping these dedicated Muslim men and women perform their military duties in full without compromising their faith.

To find out more about AFMA, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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