IT was the worst massacres in recent European history.

More than 8,000 people were murdered in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995, and Bournemouth council plans to raise awareness.

Councillor David Smith, who travelled to the Bosnian town three years ago to visit war graves, said he hoped doing so would remind people of the dangers of racial and religious hatred and how they can lead to chaos and violence.

"There was a massacre at the heart of Europe only 20 years ago," he said.

"With the diverse communities we have in Bournemouth and across the country today, across Europe, it is very important that we remember occasions like this.

"It highlights how racial intolerance can get out of control."

The victims of the massacre were mostly muslims, and the perpetrators a unit of the Army of Republika Srpska under General Ratko Mladić, who was imprisoned for life in November last year after a United Nations tribunal.

The causes are often considered a mixture of Serb nationalism among Bosnian Serbs, and religious hostility from Orthodox Christians in the region. Many Christian volunteers travelled from as far as Russia to join the force.

On his trip Cllr Smith spoke with Srebrenica residents, and heard harrowing tales of survival.

At the full council meeting on Tuesday, June 19, Cllr Smith will call on members to agree to commend and support the charity Remembering Srebrenica and seek to support its efforts as well as Srebrenica memorial services held throughout the borough.

In addition, councillors will be asked to agree to "applaud the work of those involved in the pursuit of justice for the victims and their surviving relatives, including the International Commission of Missing People (ICMP) and the Mothers of Srebrenica, whose courage and humility in the face of unthinkable horror is an inspiration to us all".

In 2009 the European Parliament passed a resolution that July 11 should be recognised as the day of commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide all over the EU, and in 2015 it urged the development of educational and cultural programmes that promote an understanding of the causes of such atrocities.