Tributes were paid to mark the 21st anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, which took the lives of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim boys and men.

More than 30 people came together in Borehamwood on July 11, the EU mandated Memorial Day of the genocide, to pay tribute to the victims of one of the worst mass murders within Europe since World War II.

The event was organised by the Hertfordshire Bosnian Association in partnership with CVS Broxbourne and East Herts and Hertsmere Borough Council.

Michal Siewniak, from the CVS Broxbourne and East Herts, said: “Our event was an opportunity to come together and remind ourselves that there is still a lot to do to build a fairer society. Let’s hope that Srebrenica never happens again to any one and anywhere.

“Let’s hope that our political leaders work together to create a peaceful environment for us all.”

Among those paying their respects was the Mayor of Hertsmere, Cllr Peter Rutledge and the President of the British Red Cross in Hertfordshire, Eric McLaughlin.

Dzemal Paratusic who led Bosnia in 1992 said: “Remembering Srebrenica is a charitable initiative that calls upon UK citizens: to remember the victims and survivors of the Srebrenica genocide, to learn the lessons from Srebrenica – particularly that we must be vigilant against hatred and intolerance and to pledge to take action now to root out intolerance and hatred."

The Srebrenica massacre-killing of more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim boys and men was perpetrated by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica, a town in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, in July 1995.

In addition to the killings, more than 20,000 civilians were expelled from the area—a process known as ethnic cleansing. The massacre was the worst episode of mass murder within Europe since World War II.

Mayor of Hertsmere, Councillor Pete Rutledge, commented: “This was a very poignant event. 

"It gave us all an opportunity to reflect on the terrible events at Srebrenica and to consider how we can learn from what happened, as well as redoubling our commitment to working together to maintain peaceful and tolerant communities.”