Vucic stoned in Srebrenica

Vucic stoned in Srebrenica

Sarajevo, July 11, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

The worst scenario of the BiH police regarding the visit of Serb prime minister Aleksandar Vucic to Srebrenica commemoration came true when a group of participants threw stones at him and forced the Serb delegation to leave Potocari cemetery in a hurry.

Vucic’s arrival in Srebrenica was welcomed by many local and international officials, but police agencies warned a day before that there was great risk of violent episodes erupting. Upon arriving in Srebrenica, one of the mothers who lost several members of her family in Srebrenica genocide gave him the “Srebrenica flower”, a symbol of the 20th anniversary. Vucic wrote a message in the book of condolences. After the ceremony a group of Bosniak attendees attacked Vucic and his delegation. He was stoned while laying flowers in the sacral part of the Memorial Centre in Potocari while the gathered mass of people bawled “Allahu Akbar”. Vucic was showered with stones from the gathered crowd, who booed and shouted “Responsibility” and “Justice”. The police immediately intervened.

Head of Islamic community in BiH, Husein Kavazovic, reacted to the incident addressing the crowd and calling for peace and dignity. He called the crowd to remain dignified in their grief.

“Brothers and sisters, please, it is a time for prayer. You, who have come here to pray in the funeral of our brothers and sisters, turn your faces towards the coffins instead to those who came here today for different reasons”, Kavazovic said.

The attack was condemned by all international officials who attended the ceremony, but also by Bosniak officials in Srebrenica. Municipality mayor, Camil Durakovic, said that he called the crowd to calm down and that this is an incident which casts a shadow on the 136 bodies that were buried today in Srebrenica. According to the media, Vucic sustained minor injuries. Some reporters, who were in Srebrenica during the attack, said that atmosphere was on the edge of incident hours before, when Vucic arrived. After that, everything was possible and the predictions that vucic can be attacked, became true.

RS Minister of Interior, Dragan Lukac, told the Press that members of the ministry were not able to directly protect Serbian PM on the cemetery in Potocari where he was attacked, because the Directorate for the Coordination of Police Bodies of BiH, which is responsible for the internal security of the area, did not allow it.

“The Directorate did not allow our officers to enter the area with Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, even though it knew he was the person who could be targeted in such crowd”, Lukac said.

He added that the possible responsibility of the Directorate would be discussed after analysing this event and that he did not know if the Directorate possessed information concerning a possible attack on Vucic. In any case, he was not asked for such information.

RS officials strongly condemned the attack and pointed out that Vucic was attacked because he is a Serb. Also, some political analysts are concerned that the stone thrown at Vucic could be the last stone on the grave of hope for reconciliation in BiH.