Council flies flag for victims of Srebrenica massacre
Residents were joined by councillors, staff, faith leaders and students from Gascoigne Primary School to observe a minute of silence to remember the victims of the Srebrenica massacre and to fly the Remembering Srebrenica flag.
The event, the fifth consecutive year it has been observed by Barking and Dagenham, took place today in the Town Square to mark the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre which took place on 11 July 1995, when Bosnian Serb forces marched into Srebrenica and killed 8,372 Muslim Serb men and boys.
This was the single largest atrocity committed on European soil since the Second World War and occurred despite Srebrenica being declared a United Nations Safe Area.
The theme this year was ‘Bridging the Divide: Confronting Hate’ which seeks to inspire people to challenge those who wish to divide communities, celebrate those who build bridges between communities and change attitudes and behaviours in others to go out and build bridges of their own.
The event included a minutes silence, the raising of the Remembering Srebrenica flag, a poetry reading by pupils from Gascoigne Primary School, and prayers from Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith leaders.
Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement said: “It is hard to believe that this appalling act of hate happened only 24 years ago here on European spoil. It’s really important that we should all take a moment to remember all of those who were affected by this tragedy and learn from it.
“We must confront hatred wherever we find it, and stand together as a united borough, coming together as one borough, one community.”