The MMS Fashion company from Serbia opened a textile factory in eastern Bosnian Municipality of Srebrenica, on Monday, employing 40 unemployed women.
The MMS Fashion owner, Miroljub Avramovic, said the company plans to increase the number of employees.
"In addition to these 40 employees, we plan to hire 40 more workers in the next three months," Avramovic said. "We’re currently working with three foreign companies, two from France and one from Germany.”
Srebrenica Mayor, Mladen Grujicic, said the opening of this factory means a path to a more successful Srebrenica.
“The opening of new companies and jobs means a lot to us. This factory will employ 40 women, and 40 more will be hired. We will continue working on creating new jobs,” Grujicic said.
This factory is even more symbolic considering that the town was the place of the worst crime against humanity, since WWII.
During the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, Srebrenica became besieged by Bosnian Serb forces. On April 16, 1993, the United Nations declared the Bosniak enclave a UN safe area, to be "free from any armed attack or any other hostile act," and guarded by a small unit operating under the mandate of United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). On July 11, 1995, the Bosnian Serb Forces entered the safe area, killing some 8,000 Bosniak men and boys.
Ever since them, the local authorities have been struggling with keeping the municipality alive, since jobs are far and few in between and its residents are leaving to live abroad, as they do not see any hope that life would improve there.
One of the employees, Dragana Zekic, said she would remember March 11, the Srebrenica Municipality Day, as the day she got her first job.
“This is my first job. I’ve been unemployed for three years,” she said.
Amra Omerovic was also unemployed for three years.
“Today is my first day. This is a big thing for Srebrenica because things like this mean that people will stay in this town,” Omerovic added.
Before the opening of the factory, Srebrenica Municipal Assembly held a formal session marking the Day of the Municipality, March 11.