To fully understand 1990ies Bosnian Genocide and in the same time Srebrenica Genocide, there is no better way but to visit Eastern Bosnia, Srebrenica and Potočari Memorial Centre, and in the same time we can not only talk about Genocide events at just one micro-location (Srebrenica), but we have to put whole Eastern Bosnia into a context of the story.
Also, tour will uncover reasons behind the breakup of Yugoslavia with detailed story of worst Genocide in Europe since WW2.
During the tour you will have honor to visit local family and have lunch at their home while getting insight how local communities live today.
In the same time it will give answers to what Srebrenica is today, what it had been yesterday, and day before, but most of all what Srebrenica could become in a future, if denial as last phase of Genocide continues to happen.
Departure Times Daily at 8 AM.
Pickup Locations If you are staying in the old town of Sarajevo meet us at our office. If you are bit away from us, please let us know and we can organise advance pickup.
Activity Note: The tour is adapted to all ages and is not physically demanding. Due to the distance of the locations, we use vehicles during the tour.
Meet our team at the office or your preferred pickup location. Your guide will give you a personal, firsthand, experience of sorrowful past events and introduce your to the local people of Srebrenica to complete the whole picture. They will make sure no questions remain unanswered, even of personal nature, so don’t refrain from sharing your thoughts and opinions at any moment of time.
After the morning pickup around 8 am, you’ll spend two and a half hours on the road towards Srebrenica, where you’ll enjoy the beautiful scenery of Eastern Bosnian mountain regions, spiced up with detailed stories and important explanations behind the reasons of “Death of Yugoslavia”.
Understanding the role of Bosnia in the storm of 90’s is crucial for better understanding of Genocide in Srebrenica.
Genocide in Srebrenica is not an event which just took place in one narrow region or one town, in fact, it is an overall story of aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina, meaning Genocide events took place in wider area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and especially of the region of East Bosnia, famously called Podrinje.
During your ride you will pass through several small towns and village where similar events have occurred, so chronological introduction and context is very important to fully understand the story that you’ll be exploring together that day.
The most important towns we are passing by, and which are related to the story of Srebrenica Genocide and 1990s ethnic cleansing:
As soon you arrive to Memorial Centre at Potočari, you will have a chance to participate at locally guided tour and history class at Memorial Centre with official guide. Local guide in charge is survivor of those events and person whose experiences and stories are extremely important part of the tour. Memorial Cemetery where over 6500 people, in past years have been buried, before exhumed and identified, while some over 1500 victims are still missing, will be the most striking and mind blowing part of the visit.
Other important elements of the visit will take place at former Dutchbat UN base, where you’ll get a chance to see amazing newly open (Feb 2017) Museum of “Srebrenica Genocide – failure of international community”, understand importance of Memorial Room, see number of documentary movies, study chronological photo exhibitions, get stunned by graffiti remains, learn personal stories and stories of in-base mass grave and other elements of importance related to overall story of Srebrenica Genocide.
>Srebrenica Genocide Memorial at Potočari
After some three hours of visiting Potočari Memorial Centre, it’s time for a short, 6 km ride to Srebrenica town. Visiting this small, historically rich, ‘silver town’ (Bosnian for silver is ‘Srebro’) will give better insight in the meaning of the “Worlds largest concentration camp during the 90’s”. Short walking tour for interesting photography and understanding what Srebrenica as small town really is.
>View of the valley with the town of Srebrenica – Bosnia and Herzegovina
The most important highlight of the day is lunch with the local family in Srebrenica. As the unemployment rate, Genocide denial and severe discrimination of predominantly Bosniak people in Srebrenica is frequent, Funky Tours has dedicated its work to empower local communities to be active participant of sustainable tourism.
People of Srebrenica love to share their personal stories, those beautiful ones, equally as the terrible ones. Don’t be afraid to listen, understand and actively support the sustainability of life in Srebrenica today.
Food is homemade with vegetarian options. Taste is totally beyond your imagination.
After you are done with lunch and Srebrenica town explorations, it is time to head back. Expect to be in Sarajevo around 6 or latest 7 pm.
>Traditional Bosnian food prepared by the Srebrenica local family
Finally today, facts are known, as what exactly happened in Srebrenica is beyond any reasonable doubt. Simply, numerous trials at ICTY have proven it, but true reasons and role of the Dutchbat UN forces at Srebrenica, and overall UN role, is still very hard to fully uncover. The mission of this tour is to clear it out.
Denial, as last phase of Genocide and ethnic cleansing in Easter Bosnia still continues.
The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide, refers to the July 1995 killing of more than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys, as well as the ethnic cleansing of another 25,000–30,000 refugees, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of General Ratko Mladić during the Bosnian War. A paramilitary unit from Serbia known as the Scorpions, officially part of the Serbian Interior Ministry until 1991, participated in the massacre. It is alleged that foreign volunteers including the Greek Volunteer Guard also participated.
In April 1993 the United Nations had declared the besieged enclave of Srebrenica in the Drina Valley of north-eastern Bosnia a “safe area” under UN protection. However in July 1995 the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), represented on the ground by a 400-strong contingent of armed Dutch peacekeepers, failed to prevent the town’s capture by the VRS and the subsequent massacre by the Bosnian Serbs of more than 8,000 civilians and prisoners, mostly men and boys.
The Srebrenica massacre is the largest mass murder in Europe since World War II. In 2004, in a unanimous ruling on the “Prosecutor v. Krstić” case, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), located in The Hague, ruled that the massacre of the enclave’s male inhabitants, accompanied by the forcible transfer of all of the women, children and elderly, constituted a crime of genocide. Theodor Meron, the presiding judge, stated:
By seeking to eliminate a part of the Bosnian Muslims, the Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide. They targeted for extinction the 40,000 Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica, a group which was emblematic of the Bosnian Muslims in general. They stripped all the male Muslim prisoners, military and civilian, elderly and young, of their personal belongings and identification, and deliberately and methodically killed them solely on the basis of their identity.
In February 2007 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concurred with the ICTY judgement that the atrocities committed at Srebrenica constituted a genocide, stating:
The Court concludes that the acts committed at Srebrenica falling within Article II (a) and (b) of the Convention were committed with the specific intent to destroy in part the group of the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina as such; and accordingly that these were acts of genocide, committed by members of the VRS in and around Srebrenica from about 13 July 1995.
The ICJ also ruled that Serbia “has violated the obligation to prevent genocide”, and that Serbia was to cooperate fully with the ICTY including the transfer of individuals accused of genocide to the ICTY. Ratko Mladić has been accused by the ICTY but still remains at large and is suspected of hiding in Serbia or in the entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina called the Republic of Srpska.
The majority of those killed were adult men and teenage boys but the victims included boys aged under 15, men over the age of 65 and even reportedly babies. The Preliminary List of People Missing or Killed in Srebrenica compiled by the Bosnian Federal Commission of Missing Persons contains 8,373 names, some 500 of them under 18, and includes several dozen women and girls. As of March 2010, 6414 genocide victims have been identified through DNA analysis of body parts recovered from mass graves and 3,647 victims have been buried at the Memorial Centre of Potočari.
In 2005, in a message to the tenth anniversary commemoration of the genocide, the Secretary-General of the United Nations described Srebrenica as the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War, and while noting that great nations had failed to respond and that blame lay first and foremost with those who planned and carried out the massacre and those who assisted and harboured them, acknowledged that the UN itself had made serious errors of judgement and the tragedy of Srebrenica would haunt the UN’s history forever.
Serbia and Montenegro was cleared of direct responsibility for or complicity in the massacre, but was found responsible for not doing enough to prevent the massacre and not prosecuting the responsible, in breach of the Genocide Convention. The Preliminary List of People Missing or Killed in Srebrenica compiled by the Bosnian Federal Commission of Missing Persons contains 8,373 names. As of July 2012, 6,838 genocide victims have been identified through DNA analysis of body parts recovered from mass graves; as of July 2013, 6,066 victims have been buried at the Memorial Centre of Potočari. Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić officially apologized for the massacre, although he stopped short of calling it genocide.
In 2013 and 2014, the Netherlands was found liable in its own supreme court and in the Hague district court of failing in its duty to prevent more than 300 of the deaths.
On 8 July 2015, Russia, at the request of the Republika Srpska and Serbia, vetoed a UN resolution condemning the Srebrenica massacre as genocide. Serbia called the resolution “anti-Serb”, while European and U.S. governments affirmed that the crimes were genocide. On 9 July 2015, both the European Parliament (EP) and the U.S. Congress adopted resolutions reaffirming the description of the crime as genocide.
On 22 November 2017, Ratko Mladić was convicted of various crimes at the United Nations’ tribunal, including genocide for his role at Srebrenica. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and as well for Radovan Karadžić in 2019.
What Do I Need to Bring?
My guide was Omer and he was absolutely fantastic- extremely helpful, translated heart wrenching stories for us, helped me with my baggage, and provided us powerful perspectives that I would not have been able to find online. He was the best tour guide I have ever had, and I have been on many tours in my life. He made my experience so special. I have a much deeper understanding of the genocide and I will cherish this memory for the rest of my life.
This is the best tour I have ever done. The cemetery was so moving, hearing all of the narratives about the genocide really touched my heart- and, going to the traditional lunch with victims of the genocide was a once in a lifetime incredible experience.
Please do this tour with funky tours. I took an extremely long night bus from Kosovo just to do this tour and it was 1000% worth it.
Incredibly insightful tour.
It’s difficult given the subject matter, but important in the context of recent history. You could spend half a day in the museum, but what really made the difference was our guide Omer, who was managed to explain the complicated history of BIH, including the recent event, while sharing his own experiences, while being incredibly open and honest. But what made the day was lunch with the local family. The food was amazing, but hearing their story, past and present, really brought it all to life.
A long day, but one that I won’t forget.
Choosing Funky Tours was one of the best decisions I made on my visit to Bosnia.
It was my first time visiting Bosnia so I wanted to learn about the history of the country, explore the landscape, and meet local people.
I was able to accomplish all of this with Funky Tours and more! They have the most amazing staff – everyone was suuuuper friendly, helpful, and wonderful!
I required some flexibility with my schedule and Funky Tours was very kind, accommodating, and flexible to help me find what I needed.
We took the Sarajevo Siege tour and the Srebrenica tour. Both tours were very informative, authentic, moving experiences. On the Sarajevo Siege tour, we went to multiple different sites around Sarajevo that really make you understand the situation during the Siege. On the Srebrenica tour we went to the Museum, the Memorial, and saw other locations of importance in the area. The highlight of the tour was the Lunch we had with survivors of the Genocide.
It was an incredible, moving, beautiful experience!
Our tour guide Almir was better than we could have imagined! He is kind, open, knowledgeable, well-spoken, funny, and personable – a very likeable person to guide you through the tragically beautiful history of Bosnia.
Bosnia is a beautiful country to visit and FunkyTours will give you the complete experience of everything Bosnia has to offer (food, nature, scenery, people, etc) with the loveliest service.
Funky tours was just what I was looking for.
I did several tours-Srebrenica, Siege of Sarajevo, Franz Ferdinand and a transfer tour from Sarajevo to Kotor,Montenegro.
I really enjoyed all of the tours, with my favorite being a toss up between the Srebrenica and Siege of Sarajevo tours.
The transfer tour to Montenegro, which was essentially the day trip to Mostar and Herzegovina tour was amazingly beautiful.
The staff and tour guides were very helpful and accommodating, not mention very knowledge about the region.
This tour was one of the most valuable experiences I’ve ever had while travelling!
Our guide/translator Adnan was really easy to get on with and extremely knowledgeable, and you could tell that it came from his first hand experience.
The driver (I’ve forgotten his name, sorry) was also lovely. I’m a little bit travel sick sometimes but had no issues with his driving. He was also lovely and friendly.
The people we met were extremely inspiring. We met a lady called Begija who was the only Bosniak woman on the Srebrenica council, as well as a lady called Bida who had lost her husband and sons to the genocide. Her story was gut wrenching and extremely inspiring and I think about it every single day. She’s one of the strongest people I’ve ever met and her cooking skills are top notch!
If you want a life changing travel experience I would recommend this 100%!