Srebrenica and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić

From 6 April 1992 to 14 December 1995 what came to be known as the “Bosnian War” took place. Its goal was the creation of a “Great Serbia”, consisted of people with purely Serbian blood. And thus, under President Milosevic’s protection and encouragement, General Ratko Mladic began the ethnic cleanse and genocide of Bosnian-Muslim people in the region, now known as the “Bosnian Genocide”. A number of about 8,500 people, primarily men, had been murdered, with bodies still emerging. The women (many of whom were raped violently and generally abused) and children had been sent to neighboring states. The event was the first genocide in Europe after Hitler’s holocaust during WWII.

Burial of 775 victim in 2010

The town of Srebrenica had been declared a “safe haven” by the UN for the Bosnian-Muslims to seek refuge, however, the Dutch UNIPROFOR peacekeepers could do nothing as they witnessed Mladic and his Army of Republica Srpska (VRS) overran the safe haven, rounding up the men to be executed and placing the women and children in buses to be transported.

Srebrenica Genocide Memorial at Potocari

July 11 is the anniversary of the event, and many gathered at the Potocari memorial to grieve for their loved ones and express their support for the people who suffered so much. Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic also showed up, which would under different circumstances be viewed as an act of respect. Here’s the problem; Vucic was a man largely responsible for the genocide, and a man who reportedly claimed:

For every (Bosnian) Serb who dies, 100 (Muslim) Bosnians will be killed.

The act of showing up at the memorial, therefore, was a very disrespectful and cynical move. The people gathered at the memorial probably agree, as evidenced by the fact that they hurled profanities and stones at him (an act which I completely understand but do not support). Some condemn the people’s decision to act in this manner (an act which I do not understand nor support).

Officials and Security Staff try to protect the PM during the attack

His decision to appear is particularly audacious after the Russian Federation vetoed the United Nations Security Council Resolution that would have condemned the Srebrenica massacre as a genocide ahead of its 20th anniversary (yesterday, July 11) on Wednesday, July 8th. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said adopting it

Would be counter-productive, would lead to greater tension in the region.

The veto was encouraged by Serb officials and statesmen who have continuously denied that the event was a genocide, in clear opposition with the rest of the international community.

UNSC in session about the Srebrenica Genocide

My heart and support goes out to all the Bosnian Muslims who have not only gone through such terrible times, but also have to tolerate their murderers as a part of the Serbian Government. My personal opinion is that this man, and others who were responsible for the atrocities, should be in prison and completely unable to hold any office. The Serbian and Russian governments should feel pressure to change their position after witnessing the anger and distress of the Bosnians and others in the international scene. Peace will not last in the Balkans if people won’t be held accountable for their actions and if those who suffered are not respected and given closure.

People gathered in the memorial remind us of the Serbian PM’s saying during the Bosnian Genocide
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