July 11 marks the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, the worst atrocity on European soil since the Holocaust. In July, 1995, Serb forces systematically killed more than 8,000 Bosniak Muslim men and boys in the so-called UN-protected enclave in Srebrenica, Bosnia.
But what led to the massacre? In the nineties, genocide scholar Gregory H Stanton, an American, examined the stages of genocide, which eventually became his “10 stages of genocide” theory. Genocide is not committed by a small group of individuals, rather a large number of people and the state all contribute to genocide.
At each stage preventive measures can stop the situation from deteriorating further, Stanton noted. Bosnian-Australian anthropologist Hariz Halilovic later added an eleventh stage particular to Bosnia’s case – “trumphalism”.