There can be no forgiveness without remorse

A lonely woman was leaving the Srebrenica cemetery, Amila had just told her sad story to us. This 50 year old woman had just been pouring out her sorrow about the atrocities of the massacre of Srebrenica. She recalled how on 11th July 1995 her two sons and husband were herded into a truck by the Serb militia. That was the last time she saw them.

A group of us from England listened attentively to her harrowing story. We went with a noble mission of peace making, bridge building and strengthening the fragile peace in Bosnia amongst Bosnians, Serbs and Croats. Amila said something amazing, she said i am willing to forgive, but no one is asking for forgiveness. The perpetrators have not acknowledged what happened to my loved ones.

This is the most disturbing feature of this horrendous massacre in Europe after the Second World War. This is despite the fact that the world witnessed it, the mass graves, the evidence of survivors and their families and the subsequent DNA identification of the victims. Amila is ready to forgive. We found the three communities disengaged, there is very little dialogue amongst them.

We found the three communities to be extremely hospitable and welcoming. Someone needs to bring them together, this is the role that the world community in general and European Union in particular should take seriously and help to build bridges so Amila can feel free to forgive.