At the urging of NGOs, a group of 11 Serbian lawmakers has called for the National Assembly to adopt a resolution recognizing the genocide of Bosniac Muslims during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
“More than ever, it is important to determine what the values of Serbia are,” Anita Mitic, director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, said. “It looks like the policy of reconciliation is Serbian policy but we cannot be the leaders of that policy if we deny the genocide.”
Serb paramilitaries killed around 2,000 men and boys on July 11, with another 6,000 hunted down and murdered over the following days.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has said he will not attend the commemoration ceremony in Srebrenica this year after the town’s mayor, Camil Durakovic, said those who would not accept the genocide were not welcome.
When he attended last year’s commemoration, Vucic was forced to flee after his party was attacked with stones and sticks.
This week, Bosnian Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak ordered his staff to stop cooperating with the event’s organizers.
“If we consider Camil Durakovic’s declarations on Aleksandar Vucic, who is not welcome in Srebrenica, it is clear that this threatens one of the main priorities of Bosnian foreign policy, which is the improvement of good relations with neighbouring countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, Serbian officials have called for an end to ties with Bosnia over the episode. Marko Djuric, who heads the Serbian office for Kosovo, accused the Bosnian member of the three-man presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, of orchestrating anti-Serb sentiment and called on Vucic to cut links with Durakovic and Izetbegovic.
On Wednesday, Croatia’s parliament marked the genocide. Parliamentary Speakerr Zeljko Reiner said “covering up the truth and to deny it may lead to a much larger war and hatred in the future.”
The 21st anniversary of the genocide will see 127 victims buried in Potocari village, just northwest to Srebrenica.