Northern Ireland’s first programme reflecting on one of the world’s worst genocide atrocities is to inspire future generations that peace after conflict is possible.
In July 1995 the Srebrenica massacre saw Bosnian Serb forces kill more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims who were under UN protection.
A special programme is to be delivered to 40 young leaders aged 18 to 24 in Mid and East Antrim.
The Conflict Transformation and Srebrenica programme will see the group take part in a series of workshops, a residential, and a visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina to see and hear first hand the causes, impact and lessons of the Balkan conflict.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Maureen Morrow launched the programme and said: “There are so many similar challenges for Bosnia and Northern Ireland that we hope the young leaders participating will come back to reflect seriously on their learning and make a major contribution in the years to come as leaders in peace building and anti-prejudice work.
“This is an opportunity for young leaders to broaden their horizons and develop their skills and knowledge. We hope in doing so it will help them make an impact for the better here in their local communities.”
Director of Remembering Srebrenica UK, Amil Khan, said: “We are delighted to be managing this programme because we know at first hand the impact the visits will make, and how many issues Northern Ireland and Bosnia have in common after two decades of their peace processes.
“Issues such as managing diversity, trying to ensure power-sharing arrangements in government deliver for everyone, acknowledgement and dealing with the legacy of violence are as pertinent in Bosnia and Srebrenica as they are in Northern Ireland.”
The programme hopes to organise two visits, ending with a commemoration event in July 2020.