BiH: “Monument to peace” in Srebrenica faced with ethnic divisions

BiH: “Monument to peace” in Srebrenica faced with ethnic divisions

The ‘Monument of Peace’, erected on the initiative of the Office of the High Representative in BiH, was unveiled today in Srebrenica but, instead of being a symbol of good will and peace among the (Serbs and Bosniaks) citizens, had the opposite effect. Namely, Bosniak representatives did not attend the ceremony.

Srebrenica Mayor, Mladen Grujičić (Serb), said that the video about the monument was supported by all politicians in Srebrenica and was met with great praise and support from all embassies and ambassadors who visited Srebrenica, as they believed in the message it sends. “The proposal was adopted in the Srebrenica municipal assembly”, Grujičić said.

“Whenever something nice emerges in Srebrenica, there are those who are trying to spoil it, to decrease its beauty, but there are also those who want to send a message of peace, love, coexistence and development of Srebrenica from here and we will continue doing that. Peace has no alternative and anyone who has any sense will see salvation and prosperity in it”, he pointed out.

Grujičić added that “unfortunately, someone always boycotts such events”, even among those who initially support them.

He stated that, whenever sensitive topics emerge, “Sarajevo enters Srebrenica more than usually” and instead of helping Bosniaks it always spoils whatever good was done in the city.

“So, I can not blame the people who live here for anything, because later they would face a lot of pressure, they would be called traitors, so they did not show up although they wanted to,” he said.

But Bosniak representatives agree that peace have no alternative and, according to deputy mayor Hamdija Fejzić (Bosniak), they “have proven this by returning in Srebrenica after the genocide”.

He explained that the narrative about the monument “went towards the wrong direction” and that was because it was election year.

“In the end, that monument lost its meaning, and we now see that those who initiated the construction its construction, which is the Office of the High Representative (OHR), have also given up on it,” he said, referring to Bosnia’s international administrator tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement.

Former Srebrenica mayor, Ćamil Duraković (Bosniak), told N1 previously that he will not attend the event because it represents “an attempt to appease the international community” while the mayor, Grujičić, keeps openly denying that a genocide took place in Srebrenica.

“There is a monument to the Chetnik duke Kosta Todorović not far from this monument, just across the street in the park. I thought that if a monument of peace is being built, it should not be located only a few metres away from another one that represents the ideology that committed the genocide in Srebrenica”, he stressed./ibna