I give below the text of a letter from Rev Donald Reeves, former rector of St James’s Piccadilly, and now Director of the charity called “The Soul of Europe”. The National conference he mentions is not yet fully funded
“I am grateful for the generous coverage of the service at Westminster Abbey, recalling the events at Srebenica twenty years ago (Srebenica mother makes plea -10th July). It is probably too much to hope that the considerable interest in Bosnia which Srebenica evokes could continue for Bosnia is broke, politically chaotic and in danger of disintegrating with the Serbian entIty, the Republika Srpska, declaring independence.
Every top down initiative from the international community has failed in Bosnia. The latest was announced last autumn when a reform plan was presented by the UK and German governments for removing some of the obstacles for integrating with Europe and promising considerable funding. At the last moment this was rejected by the Bosnian Serbs.
Therefore a consortium of local NGO’s is being set up to hold a National conference on the Future of Bosnia Herzogovina. – at which politicians will be invited initially as observers. The purpose of the Conference is to draw attention to the demands and needs of Bosnian citizens Groups will be set up to look at proposals in detail. Six months later the Conference will reconvene. This initiative will be led by local NGO’s with the encouragement and support of the Soul of Europe, drawing on our experience of 15 years in the Balkans.
In his bidding prayer at the Westminster Abbey service the Dean spoke of looking for ‘signs of hope, forgiveness and reconciliation’ This initiative could be a sign of hope. We shall invite the Bosnian religious leaders but experience has shown that beyond fine words they are unwilling to be involved.
The Revd Donald Reeves,MBE, The Soul of Europe, The Coach House, Church Street, Crediton EX17 2AQ”
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