To fully understand 1990ies Bosnian Genocide and in the same time Srebrenica Genocide, there is no better way but to visit Eastern Bosnia, Srebrenica and Potočari Memorial Centre, and in the same time we can not only talk about Genocide events at just one micro-location (Srebrenica), but we have to put whole Eastern Bosnia into a context of the story.
Also, tour will uncover reasons behind the breakup of Yugoslavia with detailed story of worst Genocide in Europe since WW2.
In the same time it will give answers to what Srebrenica is today, what it had been yesterday, and day before, but most of all what Srebrenica could become in a future, if denial as last phase of Genocide continues to happen.
Daily at 8 AM
After the morning pickup around 8 am, you’ll spend two and a half hours on the road towards Srebrenica, where you’ll enjoy the beautiful scenery of Eastern Bosnian mountain regions, spiced up with detailed stories and important explanations behind the reasons of “Death of Yugoslavia”.
Understanding the role of Bosnia in the storm of 90’s is crucial for better understanding of Genocide in Srebrenica.
Genocide in Srebrenica is not an event which just took place in one narrow region or one town, in fact, it is an overall story of aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina, meaning Genocide events took place in wider area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and especially of the region of East Bosnia, famously called Podrinje.
During your ride you will pass through several small towns and village where similar events have occurred, so chronological introduction and context is very important to fully understand the story that you’ll be exploring together that day.
On the way to Potočari we will pass by and learn about mass killings at Kravica Warehouse, gatherings of the refugees at Nova Kasaba football terrain and later, how people got executed in the regions often 60 kilometres one from each other.
As soon you arrive to Memorial Centre at Potočari, you will have a chance to participate at locally guided tour and history class at Memorial Centre with official guide. Local guide in charge is survivor of those events and person whose experiences and stories are extremely important part of the tour. Memorial Cemetery where over 6500 people, in past years have been buried, before exhumed and identified, while some over 1500 victims are still missing, will be the most striking and mind blowing part of the visit.
Other important elements of the visit will take place at former Dutchbat UN base, where you’ll get a chance to see amazing newly open (Feb 2017) Museum of “Srebrenica Genocide – failure of international community”, understand importance of Memorial Room, see number of documentary movies, study chronological photo exhibitions, get stunned by graffiti remains, learn personal stories and stories of in-base mass grave and other elements of importance related to overall story of Srebrenica Genocide.
After some three hours of visiting Potočari Memorial Centre, it’s time for a short, 6 km ride to Srebrenica town. Visiting this small, historically rich, ‘silver town’ (Bosnian for silver is ‘Srebro’) will give better insight in the meaning of the “Worlds largest concentration camp during the 90’s”.
Once in Srebrenica, it’ll be time to stop for lunch (not included in the tour price) where you will receive further elaboration about present life, as well as have a chance to explore the place on your own too.
After you are done with lunch and city explorations, it is time to head back. Expect to be in Sarajevo around 6 or latest 7 pm.
Finally today, facts are known, as what exactly happened in Srebrenica is beyond any reasonable doubt. Simply, numerous trials at ICTY have proven it, but true reasons and role of the Dutchbat UN forces at Srebrenica, and overall UN role, is still very hard to fully uncover. The mission of this tour is to clear it out.
Denial, as last phase of Genocide and ethnic cleansing in Easter Bosnia still continues.
The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide, refers to the July 1995 killing of more than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys, as well as the ethnic cleansing of another 25,000–30,000 refugees, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of General Ratko Mladić during the Bosnian War. A paramilitary unit from Serbia known as the Scorpions, officially part of the Serbian Interior Ministry until 1991, participated in the massacre. It is alleged that foreign volunteers including the Greek Volunteer Guard also participated.
In April 1993 the United Nations had declared the besieged enclave of Srebrenica in the Drina Valley of north-eastern Bosnia a “safe area” under UN protection. However in July 1995 the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), represented on the ground by a 400-strong contingent of armed Dutch peacekeepers, failed to prevent the town’s capture by the VRS and the subsequent massacre by the Bosnian Serbs of more than 8,000 civilians and prisoners, mostly men and boys.
The Srebrenica massacre is the largest mass murder in Europe since World War II. In 2004, in a unanimous ruling on the “Prosecutor v. Krstić” case, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), located in The Hague, ruled that the massacre of the enclave’s male inhabitants, accompanied by the forcible transfer of all of the women, children and elderly, constituted a crime of genocide. Theodor Meron, the presiding judge, stated:
By seeking to eliminate a part of the Bosnian Muslims, the Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide. They targeted for extinction the 40,000 Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica, a group which was emblematic of the Bosnian Muslims in general. They stripped all the male Muslim prisoners, military and civilian, elderly and young, of their personal belongings and identification, and deliberately and methodically killed them solely on the basis of their identity.
In February 2007 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concurred with the ICTY judgement that the atrocities committed at Srebrenica constituted a genocide, stating:
The Court concludes that the acts committed at Srebrenica falling within Article II (a) and (b) of the Convention were committed with the specific intent to destroy in part the group of the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina as such; and accordingly that these were acts of genocide, committed by members of the VRS in and around Srebrenica from about 13 July 1995.
The ICJ also ruled that Serbia “has violated the obligation to prevent genocide”, and that Serbia was to cooperate fully with the ICTY including the transfer of individuals accused of genocide to the ICTY. Ratko Mladić has been accused by the ICTY but still remains at large and is suspected of hiding in Serbia or in the entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina called the Republic of Srpska.
The majority of those killed were adult men and teenage boys but the victims included boys aged under 15, men over the age of 65 and even reportedly babies. The Preliminary List of People Missing or Killed in Srebrenica compiled by the Bosnian Federal Commission of Missing Persons contains 8,373 names, some 500 of them under 18, and includes several dozen women and girls. As of March 2010, 6414 genocide victims have been identified through DNA analysis of body parts recovered from mass graves and 3,647 victims have been buried at the Memorial Centre of Potočari.
In 2005, in a message to the tenth anniversary commemoration of the genocide, the Secretary-General of the United Nations described Srebrenica as the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War, and while noting that great nations had failed to respond and that blame lay first and foremost with those who planned and carried out the massacre and those who assisted and harboured them, acknowledged that the UN itself had made serious errors of judgement and the tragedy of Srebrenica would haunt the UN’s history forever.
Serbia and Montenegro was cleared of direct responsibility for or complicity in the massacre, but was found responsible for not doing enough to prevent the massacre and not prosecuting the responsible, in breach of the Genocide Convention. The Preliminary List of People Missing or Killed in Srebrenica compiled by the Bosnian Federal Commission of Missing Persons contains 8,373 names. As of July 2012, 6,838 genocide victims have been identified through DNA analysis of body parts recovered from mass graves; as of July 2013, 6,066 victims have been buried at the Memorial Centre of Potočari. Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić officially apologized for the massacre, although he stopped short of calling it genocide.
In 2013 and 2014, the Netherlands was found liable in its own supreme court and in the Hague district court of failing in its duty to prevent more than 300 of the deaths.
On 8 July 2015, Russia, at the request of the Republika Srpska and Serbia, vetoed a UN resolution condemning the Srebrenica massacre as genocide. Serbia called the resolution “anti-Serb”, while European and U.S. governments affirmed that the crimes were genocide. On 9 July 2015, both the European Parliament (EP) and the U.S. Congress adopted resolutions reaffirming the description of the crime as genocide.
On 22 November 2017, Ratko Mladić was convicted of various crimes at the United Nations’ tribunal, including genocide for his role at Srebrenica. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and as well for Radovan Karadžić in 2019.
ON JULY 11th EVERY YEAR Funky Tours Team IS OFFERING SREBRENICA TOUR FREE OF CHARGE FOR ANYONE WHO APPLIES. All are invited but please note, number of seats are limited.
July 11th is Memorial Day in Bosnia and Herzegovina and we are happy to contribute on this day by offering this experience to anyone interested without any costs at all. We have limited number of seats.
We believe spreading awareness of Srebrenica Genocide is way of eliminating possibility that such unfortunate event ever happens again. Thank you for your interest.
JULY 11th 2019 – PLACES AVAILABLE!!!
Breaking Prejudice and Warming Hearts – Just What the World Needs
Where do I even begin? We’re so thankful that Sarajevo Funky Tours exists. We experienced so much thanks to them. All of it was so incredible. It was informative, eye-opening, and more than I can put into words. In fact, it makes me feel completely inept at writing to try to put words to the experiences we had. We laughed, we cried, and we laughed some more. We learned about politics, history, geography, division, unity, languages, cruelty, kindness and most of all, the resilience of the human heart.
We went on 3 tours with Sarajevo Funky Tours (Free Walking Tour and Local Food Tasting, Sarajevo Total Seige Tour, and Understanding Srebenica Genocide), and can’t wait to come back and do more tours with them. While 10 and 11 hour tours might sound long, the time flies by, and you’re left wanting more. We would gladly spend 40+ more hours with Funky Tours. Guides were all terrific. We felt like we were spending time with good friends. Special mention to Saudin and Almir, who added so much to our Srebenica experience with both humor and poetry – they are fantastic together. We will be back!
We did the Srebenica tour on the busiest day of the year, the July 11th anniversary, and thanks to Armina, we had an incredible experience meeting museum curator and genocide survivor, Hasan Hasanović. The work he is doing is so important.
Everyone we met at Funky Tours (Ema, Adnan, Damir, and those whose names we didn’t get…) was friendly, warm, and helpful. They truly want you to know Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina as it is, and it is a wonderful place.
Besides their amazing staff, another thing that sets them apart is their commitment to a personal experience, evidenced by the fact that they keep their groups small. We are usually not tour people and prefer to discover things on our own, but this company was a huge exception, and we’d highly recommend them.
Sarajevo itself is now one of our favorite cities, and Bosnia is a beautiful country with so much to see and do.
Thank you so much to everyone at Funky Tours!
Ado – wonderful guide!
We took Funky Tours to visit Srebrenica to visit the cemetery and museum related to the 1995 massacre. This tour is very intense but an important part of Balkan history.
An unforgettable experience
This was one of the most educational and intense days I can ever remember having. When Arna, the guide, picked me up at 7:45 in the morning I discovered that I was the only person booked on the tour that day. Despite this she and the tour company were still prepared to do the tour as they think it’s important people understand what happened at Srebrenica. Arna drove me, in her own car, all the way to Srebrenica while giving me extensive background information on both her own personal experience of the war and also what happened at Srebrenica. She did a fantastic job of clearly, fairly and sensitively explaining both the history and the current situation in BiH. The Memorial Centre at Potocari is a difficult place to visit but I’m very glad I went. The care and attention to detail is incredible and you can speak to survivors of the genocide which, although difficult, is important as it gives them the opportunity to tell their story. Afterwards Arna arranged for us to have lunch with a family of survivors who have returned to the town and now run a farm. It was a real priviledge to meet them and they were very welcoming and open to talking about their experiences. It was a long and emotionally challenging day which has stayed with me afterwards but I cannot recommend the tour – and Sarajevo Funky Tours in general – enough.
Interesting and sobering tour
This tour to Srebrenica was excellent. Arna our guide was very informative and we had lunch at a the local house of a family who had returned after the conflict. At the museum we were given a talk by Hasan Hasanovic who is a survivor of the ‘Death March ‘ and has spoken all over the world about his experience. It was very sobering to listen to. This tour is well worth going on if you are interested in what happened in Srebrenica and how it has affected people.
Three fantastic tours
We took the tours to Srebrenica, Jacje and the half day tunnel tour.
We normally like travelling independently. I would strongly urge you to take trips in Bosnia and with Sarajevo Funky Tours.
There is plenty to see and I am not sure public buses go to all the places we covered in our tours. More than that though, having guides relate their personal experiences and increase our knowledge of the complexities of Balkan history and the impact on the people was very special indeed and not to be missed. All three guides, Ejub, Omer and Saudis were exceptional and went the extra mile to ensure we had good trips with as much information as we wanted.
Ema who organised our bookings welcomed us very warmly and was excellent at efficiently making the arrangements. We appreciated being picked up at our Airbnb flat rather than having to walk to a central point.
Tour prices are very reasonable considering how much ground we covered.
Overall we has thoroughly enjoyable and very enriching trips.
Bosnia Hercegovina is a gem of a country. Do visit.