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Charles pays tribute to courage of families on 25th anniversary of Srebrenica

The prince said the July 1995 events were a ‘dreadful stain on our collective conscience’.

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A woman cries leaning on a grave stone in Potocari, near Srebrenica (Kemal Softic/AP)

A woman cries leaning on a grave stone in Potocari, near Srebrenica (Kemal Softic/AP)

A woman cries leaning on a grave stone in Potocari, near Srebrenica (Kemal Softic/AP)

The Prince of Wales has called on people to “stand in determined solidarity” with those who “have lost so much” from the Srebrenica genocide.

Charles was speaking in a recorded message on the 25th anniversary of the genocide in which Bosnian Serb forces led by General Ratko Mladic killed 8,372 mostly Muslim men and boys.

The bodies of many of the victims during the Balkans War conflict have never been found.

In a video shared by Matt Field, the UK’s ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Charles said: “The terrible events of July 1995, confirmed as genocide by international courts, are a dreadful stain on our collective conscience.

“The international community failed those who were killed, those who somehow survived and those who endure the terrible loss of their loved ones.

“By remembering the pain of the past and learning its lessons, we can together resolve that it must never happen again.”

Charles had planned to personally pay his respects at nearby Potocari cemetery and at a memorial centre to the victims, as well as meet family members and survivors to mark the anniversary, but the trip was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The massacre has been described UN as the worst atrocity to happen on European soil since the Second World War.

In his message, Charles added: “I have cared deeply for many years about all that your country and the region has endured, and have followed with close interest and particular sympathy the steps you have taken on the long, hard road of reconciliation.

“I have greatly admired the difficult but essential work being carried out in Bosnia Herzegovina to address the legacies of the past.

“I have been deeply moved by the remarkable and courageous efforts of those working tirelessly in pursuit of justice, to rebuild trust to bring hope to their communities.”

PA