Sarajevo, July 3, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
Just a few months since BiH political parties leaders reached the highest level of agreement in the post war period, regarding the EU initiative on the country’s future, the country has fallen in what is perhaps the deepest political crisis, with opinions being so different that the future and the EU initiative are in danger.
The reason is not so new, the Srebrenica genocide, or massacre as Serb politicians argue, had always been a point of dispute between Bosniaks and Serbs in BiH. Every year in July, Bosniaks organize mass funeral of bodies exhumed and identified in the previous year. This year the number is 130. Serbs have never caused a problem with that, and since Srebrenica is in the Republic of Srpska, the police of this entity is responsible for security. POlive had made sure no incidents occured so far.
This year, a month before the funeral, several events brought the situation near to a conflict. One of them is Naser Oric’s arrest in Switzerland and later his extradition to BiH. This event caused the RS president, Milorad Dodik, to demand for a referendum on trust of RS citizens to the BiH judiciary system.
The second cause of deep dispute is the British resolution on Srebrenica, which was supposed to be adopted by UN Security Council. Serb politicians are unified in sharp negative reactions on the resolution but Bosniak politicians are seeing it as a necessary step in the state. Interestingly enough, nobody wants to calm the spirits and politicians are doing nothing to sit and talk about this problem. Newest events just threw more oil in the fire, to an already endangered state stability.
Namely, a group of 25 MPs in BiH Parliament House of Representatives, Bosniaks and Croats, wrote a letter to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, in which they on behalf of the whole House support the Resolution. This letter angered the Serb MPs who were not consulted on the matter, nor is their opinion mentioned in the letter.
“The House of Representatives appreciates and understands the initiative and the efforts by the United Kingdom of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland to adopt the resolution on the genocide against the Bosniak population in Srebrenica and spread the truth about the genocide, in accordance with the verdict issued by the International Court of Justice as the highest legal body of the UN”, said this group in the letter.
Twenty five out of 42 MPs in the House emphasized that the whole House supports the British initiative, that “The House of Representatives” calls on all UN member states to spread the truth about the genocide in Srebrenica, and that the House considers the “recognition of genocide in Srebrenica, as the only genocide that occurred in Europe after World War II, as the foundation of reconciliation in BiH and region wide” and that the British initiative on the adoption of the Resolution is an important contribution to the building of a lasting peace and reconciliation in BiH and the region.
The final conclusion says that “the House of Representatives”, with the aim to build good neighborly relations, calls on the officials and official bodies of Serbia, to “finally recognize international responsibility of its state bodies for violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as it was set out in the verdict issued by the International Court of Justice”.
“Therefore, for the sake of the region’s future it is important that Serbia discontinues with the policy of denying the genocide in Srebrenica, and shows unequivocal intention to end with the policy of violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which, among other things, led to the decision by the International Court of Justice which ruled that Serbia is the only European state that violated the Article 2 of the Genocide Convention after the Second World War”, says one of the conclusions.
The Serb side reaction on the letter was fast and sharp. The Chairman of the SNSD Caucus in the BiH House of Representatives, Stasa Kosarac, told the media that he is embittered by the falsehoods which 25 MPs uttered in a letter sent to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, regarding their support to the British resolution on Srebrenica.
“I am disgusted by the abuse of a seat in Parliament and the way the signatories to the letter have deliberately deceiving the domestic and international public, particularly the UN and its Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon”, Kosarac said.
He added that the public in the country knows that two days ago, the BiH House of Representatives rejected a proposed resolution on Srebrenica sponsored by Denis Becirovic, Mirsad Mesic and Zaim Backovic.
“At the same session, the House of Representatives rejected a proposal of MP Denis Becirovic to discuss a British resolution on Srebrenica. This means that the signatories to the letter lied shamelessly and manipulated UN Secretary-General, claiming that the BiH House of Representatives expresses its respect and understanding for the British resolution”, Kosarac said.
He said a false image of the events from the past war, including the tragic events in Srebrenica, was created in a similar way, by the deliberate spreading of lies.
BiH Presidency Chairman, Mladen Ivanic, said to reporters that the letter show that a small group of people identified itself with whole state.
– They could say that they wrote a letter in their name and not in the behalf of House of Representatives. This is misuse of a state institution”, said Ivanic.
He added that the letter confirmed his previous statement that more than half of the citizens in BiH don’t support the Resolution.
As the date of the 20th anniversary of Srebrenica genocide is approaching, tensions are rising and nobody knows what will be happen in next few days. Possibly, some diffusion of the situation can be made during the visits of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and EU high official, Federica Mogherini, to Sarajevo next week.