The Association of “Mothers of the enclaves Srebrenica and Žepa” has released a statement in reaction to Brahimi’s recent proposal regarding Homs:
“Do not let Srebrenica happen all over again! Lakhdar Brahimi, the special envoy of the UN for Syria has proposed a solution to the crisis in the city of Homs: they are about to agree that the women and children will get safe passage out of Homs while the men remain. He says humanitarian assistance can then be provided. The Association of ‘Mothers of the enclaves Srebrenica and Žepa’ painfully remember a similar ‘solution’ being brokered for Srebrenica and we look upon the consequences today – thousands of graves.”
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) joins the Mothers of Srebrenica and Žepa in warning the international community and the UN to avoid repeating past mistakes.
In 1995, the UN declared Srebrenica a “safe area,” but it was not. Men were separated from the women and girls with the promise that they would be evacuated. The result was genocide.
Kofi Annan has admitted that the action of the UN in Srebrenica reflected “serious errors of judgment,” and resulted in the organisation bearing some of the responsibility for failing to prevent the subsequent massacre.
“Our sources in Homs are rejecting the options being put forward. There are alternatives and those negotiating should explore them, using the experience and knowledge of local civil society before there is another massacre” says Madeleine Rees, Secretary General of WILPF, “Homs is not the only area under siege. Broader and more inclusive discussions must take place and all interested parties should secure a solution in accordance with their international legal obligations.”
Established in 1915, WILPF is active in 32 countries. Its mission is to end and prevent war, ensure that women are represented at all levels in the peace-building process, defend the human rights and promote social, economic and political justice.