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A Tribute to Those Who Suffered the Atrocities of the Bosnian War

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to those who suffered the atrocities of the Bosnian War. In April of 1992, a war of aggression was waged against the newly independent and sovereign Bosnia by Serb forces aiming to destroy its multi-ethnic and multi-religious character. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), a body of the United Nations, was established to prosecute serious crimes committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia. Due to the efforts of the ICTY, 161 fugitives have been indicted, including Ratko Mladic, the person responsible for the Srebrenica Genocide. April 16th of this year will mark twenty years since the United Nations declared the Srebrenica enclave a ``safe zone.'' Sadly, the failure of the United Nations to protect this safe zone ultimately led to genocide and the death of more than 8,000 men and boys.

I would like to call for the United Nations to properly recognize the Srebrenica Genocide declaring July 11th to be Srebrenica Remembrance Day. In the 109th Congress, I proudly co-sponsored H.R. 199, which affirmed that in Srebrenica, ``the policies of aggression and ethnic cleansing as implemented by Serb forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995 meet the terms defining the crime of genocide.''

Tomorrow, President Tomislav Nikolic of Serbia will take the floor during a United Nations debate on the ICTY. As we mark another anniversary of the beginning of genocidal violence in Bosnia, let us remember that our work is not yet done. As President Obama has stated, ``The United States rejects efforts to distort the scope of this atrocity, rationalize the motivations behind it, blame the victims, and deny the indisputable fact that it was genocide.'' In solidarity with April Genocide Prevention Month, let us remember the victims and the heroic perseverance of the Bosnian people.

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