On Thursday, Tranmere Rovers in the Community (TRIC) organized a tournament to remember the tragedy that occurred in Srebrenica in July 1995.
Participants included Year 8 and 9 girls from St John Plessington Catholic Secondary School in Bebington and Weatherhead High School in Wallasey, who joined in to be a part of the event.
The tournament held at the Prenton Park Recreation Centre had a powerful objective of fostering unity and togetherness through the medium of football, as a way to remember and stand against such heinous crimes.
Andy Heywood is Education Lead at TRIC, and also works with Wirral Deen Centre. He spoke about the commemoration football tournament, “Today’s football tournament is a partnership between Wirral Deen Centre and Tranmere Rovers in the Community, and the Remembering Srebrenica charity.
“It’s all about commemorating the Bosnian genocide. The charity’s theme this year is ‘Together We Are One’ because football is a great way of bringing people from different communities and different backgrounds together.
“The conditions for genocide are all about hatred and division, so we’re looking at the opposite of that and using football as the vehicle for celebrating our togetherness.”
What was the Srebrenica massacre?
The town of Srebrenica came to international prominence as a result of events during the Bosnian War, which took place between 1992 and 1995.
The objectives of the Bosnian Serbs included the creation of a border separating the Serb people from Bosnia’s other ethnic communities and the abolition of the border separating Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs’ Republika Srpska.
The Bosnian Muslim/Bosniak majority population of the area posed a major obstacle to the achievement of these objectives.
In the early days of the campaign of ethnic cleansing that followed the outbreak of war in April 1992 the town of Srebrenica was occupied by Serb/Serbian forces. It was subsequently retaken by Bosniak resistance groups.
The town and its surrounding area was surrounded and besieged by Serb forces. On 16 April 1993, the United Nations declared the Bosnian Muslim/Bosniak enclave a UN safe area, to be “free from any armed attack or any other hostile act.”
In July 1995, despite the town’s UN-protected status, it was attacked and captured by the Army of Republika Srpska.
Following the town’s capture, all men of fighting age who fell into Bosnian Serb hands were massacred in a systematically organised series of summary executions.
The Srebrenica massacre is considered the worst genocide in post-Second World War European history to this day, with over 8000 Bosnian Muslims killed.