Tensions in BiH high as usual on eve of the Srebrenica genocide anniversary

Tensions in BiH high as usual on eve of the Srebrenica genocide anniversary

Since the end of the war in BiH, the beginning of July is the period when tensions in the state run high as the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, on July 11, is in the first half of the month. Every year since 1995, the victims’ associations claim the the Republika Srpska is an illegal entity established on the bones of more than 8 000 killed Bosniaks.

On the other side, many Serb officials questioned the number of victims considering the official number too high. Among them are the RS president, Milorad Dodik, and the Mayor of Srebrenica, Mladen Grujičić, who, on several occasions, has said that the purpose of the exaggerated number of victims is to demonise Serbs as a nation and present, depict each and every soldier of the Republika Srpska Army (VRS) as a collaborator in the genocide.

On Monday, Munira Subašić, president of the Association “Mothers of Srebrenica and Žepa enclaves”, handed over a list of 22 000 names of VRS soldiers, “suspects of the crime of genocide”, to German prosecutor Klaus Zorn, with the request to check whether any of them are hiding in Germany and if so, to try them there.

“A large number of the perpetrators is still walking freely. I will ask the head prosecutor to check all of those who are in Germany, to bring them in, to have them face justice, not in Bosnia, but in Germany,” said Subašić.

The list Subašić handed to the German prosecutor was put together by the Government of Republika Srpska in 2005, and it was a part of the “Srebrenica Report”. Recently, Dodik stated that the Report must be withdrawn by the entity Parliament since it was adopted under the international community’s pressure. Dodik also said that Srpska does not recognise the Subašić list and that the German judiciary has no jurisdiction in these cases. Dodik added that Subašić’s act was a provocation that would not produce any results.

“We will reject any kind of obtaining non-substantive jurisdiction. I believe this is oppression on the people on the list, which is a result of an earlier mistake,” Dodik said to the media.

He reiterated that he would gather all political factors in Republika Srpska in an effort to make the National Assembly order the Government to revoke and declare its report on Srebrenica void.

“This has obviously been an act of abuse from the very start. It was written by the international community and made the authorities at the time publish it. The Hague Tribunal has several judgements mentioned between 3,500 and 5,000 victims, while the report mentions 8,700. The people in the Federation of BiH will always give the highest possible number, which is not correct”, said Dodik.

At the same time, the preparations for the ceremonial marking of the Srebrenica events anniversary are near the end. This year, 35 newly identified victims are to be buried. Among them are four minors, as well as a young woman who was pregnant. As the anniversary is on the same day with the FIFA World Cup semi-final game between Croatia and England, in Russia, organisers suggested to FIFA to mark the Srebrenica genocide commemoration with a moment of silence at the beginning of the match.

“We ask of you to mark the beginning of the semi-finals match with a minute of silence or in some other way, with the aim of sending off a message of peace and a warning for what happened to Srebrenica to never happen anywhere else ever again,” the Organisation Board wrote in an open letter…. / IBNA