Members of the European parliament on Monday, participated in a one minute of silence to remember the massacre of over 8,000 Muslim men and boys who were killed within four days in July 1995 by Bosnian Serb death units as they took control of the town of Srebrenica, which had been put under the protection of UN troops as a designated “safe area.”
In his opening remarks, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz addressed the events of 1995 as an "act of genocide [that] was one of the worst war crimes in Europe since World War II."
"It should never have happened, and our collective failure to prevent it shames us," said Schulz, paying homage to the victims and their families and extending on behalf of the parliament his deepest sympathies to all those impacted from the tragedy.
"We will not forget Srebrenica," he added, before the members stood for a minute of silence.
The Srebrenica massacre, widely viewed as the worst atrocity on European soil since World War Two, was the culmination of a campaign of ethnic cleansing by the forces of Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic aimed at carving out a Serbian state from ethnically mixed Bosnia.
The Serbian troops were declared perpetrators of a massacre in a war crimes tribunal in The Hague in 2006, and Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic are yet to receive a verdict for their roles in the massacre.
Dutch troops are also accused of look on the actions of the Serbs and not engaging in the protection of the vulnerable. They are also accused of overlooking the Serbs abusing, torturing and separating women and young children from their male quarry.
On July 11, the commemorative ceremony for the 20th anniversary of the massacre in Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to attract 50,000 people from around the world, including the attendance of world leaders.
Members of the European Parliament will vote on Thursday for a resolution on Srebrenica, initiated by a proposal from Croatian member of the European parliament Ivan Jakovcic.