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Center for Balkan

Tel: 978-461-0909
Fax: 978-461-2552

Merzudin Ibric, Srebrenica Survivor, addresses Darfur Rally in Boston, October 7

Nearly 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 said.

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.

I 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. 

In 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.