Merzudin Ibric, Srebrenica Survivor, addresses Darfur Rally in Boston, October
1000 people attended a rally in support of Darfur at
City Hall Plaza, Boston on Sunday, October 7. Speaking
to the crowd were survivors from five genocides in
the 20th century; Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia,
Bosnia, and Rwanda. The rally called on China, the
host of the 2008 Olympics, to use its influence on
Sudan, and its permanent seat on the Security Council,
to address the crisis.
Quoted in the Boston Globe on Monday, Jill Savitt,
director of New York-based Dream for Darfur, said that
on a recent trip to Africa she visited refugee camps
in an area where women had been raped, infants killed,
villages destroyed, and people lived in squalid conditions.
She said that China did not abstain from a UN resolution
to bring troops into Darfur, marking "a new milestone
of progress." "But
it's not nearly enough because nothing has changed on
the ground," Savitt said.
Boston yesterday became the third US city to hold
the Dream for Darfur Olympic Torch Event. Similar events
have been held in countries that have experienced genocidal
violence, including Rwanda, Armenia, Germany, Bosnia,
Cambodia, and the border of Chad and Sudan, Savitt
Merzudin Ibric Represents Bosnian Community
Merzudin "Zoom" Ibric is from eastern Bosnia. In 1992
during the war in Bosnia, he and his family were forced
to flee their home and find refuge in Srebrenica. They
now live in Revere, Mass. Merzudin is freshman and
a nationally ranked track athlete at Wheaton College
in Norton, MA. Following are his remarks.
was 5 years old when the war broke out in Bosnia. Because
we were Muslims, my family was targeted by Slobodan
Milosevic’s campaign of ethnic cleansing. Almost
immediately the war hit home when my two-year old sister
was struck by a bomb which exploded in our backyard
while she, my brother, and I were playing hide and
seek. Her leg was severely injured. Later,
my uncle was killed by snipers, and we had to bury
his body by candlelight behind blankets, so the Serbs
would not see us and begin shooting.
We fled our home and lived in
various places: an old school, a former slaughterhouse,
a room above a bakery. In
Srebrenica, I saw Mladic. He gave us bread and
told us we would be safe. My
mother refused to eat the bread, fearing it poisoned. My
father fled through the woods, and my mom and my brothers
and sisters and I boarded buses to get out of Srebrenica. Later
we found out that over 7,800 people were massacred.
Bosnia, I wondered why no one was helping us - Why
it took so long for someone to hear our voices. In
Darfur, they wonder the same thing. I hope the
world will hear the voices of those in Darfur. We
need to let them know that we are listening. We
will hear you and help you. Thank you.