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Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada

Letter to Foreign Minister of Canada on Srebrenica Remembrance Day Motion

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada
Published: June 16, 2010  

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Honourable, Lawrence Cannon, M. P.
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6


Dear Minister Cannon,

I am writing to you today about the immediate need for the House of Commons to pass a motion recognizing the Srebrenica genocide with a remembrance day as the 15th anniversary memorial is less than a month away. As you are aware there exists support for such a motion by all other parties in the House of Commons as indicated by the public statements made last week. In fact there is support specifically for the motion agreed to by your office a few weeks ago.

The U.S. House, U.S. Senate and the European Parliament have all passed resolutions or motions that use the word genocide to describe the Srebrenica Massacre. The facts are after the fall of Srebrenica on July 11th, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces, commanded by General Ratko Mladic (an indicted war criminal), and paramilitary units rapidly executed more than 8,000 Bosniak (Muslim) men, boys, and seniors, who had sought safety in the area. Moreover, approximately 30,000 people were forcibly deported in an UN-assisted ethnic cleansing. The European Parliament resolution referred to the Srebrenica Massacre as “the biggest war crime in Europe since the end of WWII.” This atrocity is the only event during the war in Bosnia (1992-1995) to have been determined to be the crime of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice.

As of today Canada is the only western country to not have passed a motion or resolution acknowledging the Srebrenica genocide. With the memorial events just weeks away, it is imperative that a motion be passed in the House of Commons as soon as possible so that the Canadian delegation attending the ceremonies will not be forced to explain Canada’s isolation on this tragedy especially since Canadian involvement in assisting to set up the legal processes to bring justice to victims in the war was present at its initiation.

The motion that was agreed to by your office (That, in the opinion of the House, the day of July 11 should be recognized as Srebrenica Remembrance Day in memorial of the Srebrenica Massacre of July of 1995, in which more than 8,000 Bosniak civilians were executed under the policy of ethnic cleansing, declared an act of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and 30,000 others were expelled from their homes by Serbian forces.) was brought to the attention of your House leader this week. He stated to our House leader that if you accepted this motion he would accept it as well.

I ask you to accept this motion and allow for unanimous consent of the House of Commons for this important act of recognition to be completed.

I look forward to your response.




Brian Masse, M. P.

Windsor West

Letter to Foreign Minister on Srebrenica Genocide Motion

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada