‘Srebrenica report’ – a necessity or election rethoric?

‘Srebrenica report’ – a necessity or election rethoric?

On the eve of the another “historic” session of the Republika Srpska’s National Assembly (RSNA), president of this BiH entity, Milorad Dodik, called for a meeting of all political party leaders in order to discuss viewpoints to be debated at the session scheduled for Tuesday morning.

According to rules and regulations concerning the work of the RSNA, it is not possible to schedule a regular session after the end of July during an election year, though the number of special sessions is not limited.

One of them, as Dodik stated earlier, is scheduled so that he manages to withdraw the RSNA accordance from the “Srebrenica report” issued 2004 and confirmed by the then RS president, Dragan Čavić, as well as by the RSNA MPs, and then be able to change the 2004 report (Dodik’s wish, who wants to see a new Commission formed with new task – that will review all events in and around Srebrenica during the war).

This same report was the motive behind a recent event at the German Prosecutor’s Office, when representatives of the Association “Mothers of Srebrenica” handed out the list of 22 000 names of Serbs involved in events in and around Srebrenica in a period when, as it has been confirmed in several judgements at the Hague Tribunal and other Courts, Serb forces have committed a genocide over Bosniaks in that city, asking for their prosecution. Many of them currently reside in Germany. Until now, the prosecutor has made no decision on whether to take action or not.

Explaining the necessity for a special session, Dodik recently noted that the goal is to protect persons from the list of persecutions and prosecutions before any court in the EU. He suggested the establishment of a new Commission (as mentioned above), with international participation, which will investigate all events in and around Srebrenica during the 1992-1995 BiH war, including the attacks and killings of Serbs in the villages near Srebrenica. Srebrenica warlord, Naser Orić and his forces committed these war crimes, as the Serbian side has stated. Orić was acquitted for these crimes but a higher court then ordered a new trial.

In order to secure broad support for the report’s withdrawal and the establishment of a new Commission, Dodik scheduled a meeting of all political leaders, including those of the opposition. But, although it had been scheduled for Monday late afternoon, leaders of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS), Vukota Govedarica, the Party of Democratic Progress (PDP), Branislav Borenović, and National Democratic Movement’s Dragan Čavić decided not to attend it.

PDP president, Branislav Borenović explained to IBNA that it was not serious of the RS president to send a meeting invitation mentioning the time and nothing else.

He added that the “Srebrenica report” is too grave a topic and a possible joint photo of opposition party leaders next to the RS president will in no way mean “political unity” or be sign of an agreement.

The National Democratic Movement (NDP) leader, Dragan Čavić said he would address the entity Parliament at Tuesday’s session but stressed that he thinks this should not be used for pre-election purposes. He said he was the only politician who addressed the public after the RS Government adopted the Commission’s report, and expressed his regret for the Bosniak victims.

“There’s no doubt that the Commission worked under pressure from foreigners (foreign diplomats)”, Čavić underlined.

He added that now is the time to accept the Government’s initiative to form a new international commission that will create a complete report on wartime events in the Srebrenica area, including the suffering of the Serbs.

As it appears, Dodik played the “win-win” election game in which he cannot lose, regardless of the opposition decision about participating in the meeting or not. If they finally accept attending it, Dodik would have the right to say that he cares about the people that the “Srebrenica report” has accused for the worst war crimes in modern history. If opposition refuses to participate, Dodik would say that they do not want to protect so high a number of Serbs. In any case, this whole story could win him a few more points ahead of the general election, scheduled for October.

The president of the “United Srpska” party, which supports the ruling coalition, Nenad Stevandić has said  that the decision of opposition leaders not to participate in the meeting shows their “harshness against 22 000 persons in the list”.

“They have not responded to the invitation due to political hatred for the Republika Srpska President, Milorad Dodik, and such treatment towards the institution of the president shows lack of respect for 22 000 people”, Stevandić said to the media.

Nobody in Bosnia and Herzegovina doubts that this election campaign will be one of the most “brutal” in the post-war history, though such accusations, about some political parties and leaders that do not care about the destiny of 22 000 citizens, is a totally new thing in the country’s political arena…. / IBNA