07/20/2014 OHR

Remarks by High Representative Valentin Inzko at the Burial of War Victims in Kozarac

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Dear mothers, sisters, relatives,

We have all felt the need to be here today. We are here to witness the burial of the mortal remains of war victims from the Kozarac region. The enormity of the crimes committed in this region, the profound grief that loved ones have borne for so many years – these are things that are impossible to put into words.

Words are inadequate. It is the duty of the living to rebuild what was destroyed, to pursue justice, to struggle against the moral blindness that fuelled this and other crimes and to ensure that such misery is not brought down on a new generation.

Only on truth and justice can peace be built.

Evidence from the crimes committed in this area has and will continue be presented before courts. This is an important part of the unfortunately long, unfortunately slow and difficult moral recovery of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the evil that reared its head a generation ago. We know there is not only the Hague tribunal out there, there is also the Lord’s tribunal, where everything is recorded.

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We are here today in solidarity with the bereaved as the mortal remains of their loved ones are committed to the earth with honour and with dignity. This is not an empty ritual. It is an affirmation of decency, of love, of respect.

The vast majority of people in this country stand with us in affirming these fundamental human values.

It would insult the memory of those who are being buried here today if we were to accept the brutal and hopeless argument that communities must be divided, that people with different outlooks must live apart.

That argument led to disaster a generation ago; it will not prevail today. This is our commitment to the living and the dead. We wish the victims eternity in Heaven.