4. 90-second Statements

Part of the debate – in the Senedd at 3:18 pm on 13 July 2022.

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Photo of Heledd Fychan Heledd Fychan Plaid Cymru 3:18, 13 July 2022

Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd. On 11 July each year, we remember Srebrenica and the genocide of 8,372 Bosnian Muslim men and boys. The efforts of remembering here in Wales are driven by Abi Carter and the board of Remembering Srebrenica Wales, who work hard to ensure we do not forget the stories of Srebrenica and that we learn the lessons of this brutal genocide. This year's theme for the commemoration is combating denial and challenging hatred. By understanding and confronting this dark side of our collective history, we can ensure that we illuminate darkness with hope.

The children of this war grew up without a childhood, without peace and without family members. As one survivor said,

'I was 10 years old when the war ended, but it was four years earlier that I stopped being a child.'

The efforts of remembering Srebrenica through educational visits, among other things, ensure the memory of this atrocity lives on, teaching a valuable lesson about where hatred can lead. This work continues through the pupils of Treorchy Comprehensive School, who were worthy winners of the Youth Ambassadors award at the commemoration event last week. One survivor poignantly said,

'Despite everything, I hope that I can teach my daughters to grow up without hatred. This will be my success.'

We must never forget this brutal genocide, and we must continue to challenge hate and extremism in all forms.