Serbian parliament urged to drop vote on Srebrenica resolution

Sat, Mar 27, 2010, 00:00

BOSNIAN SERB leaders have urged Serbia’s parliament not to pass a resolution condemning the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica.

Supporters of the resolution want Belgrade’s parliament to vote on it next month, and hope it would show the world that the current pro-western government had broken with Serbia’s nationalist past and was determined to join the European Union.

That ambition is blocked by the continued freedom of Gen Ratko Mladic, leader of ethnic Serb forces during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war. He is accused of committing genocide and crimes against humanity at Srebrenica, but has been on the run from the UN war crimes court for 15 years, and has enjoyed protection from elements within Serbia’s security forces.

The resolution says Serbia “strongly condemns the crime committed against the Bosnian population of Srebrenica in July 1995, in accordance with the ruling of the International Court of Justice”. That ruling noted Serbia was not guilty for the Srebrenica massacre, but was responsible for doing nothing to prevent it.

“It would be premature before all the facts that the declaration should express are established,” Bosnian Serb president Rajko Kuzmanovic said of the proposed Serbian resolution.

Serb nationalists in Bosnia insist that the full truth of the war and its atrocities has not been revealed and that the international community has made scapegoats of Serbs while overlooking the crimes of Bosnia’s Croats and particularly its Muslims.

“Serbia is an independent country and has the right to adopt whatever it believes it should, but I think that something that would enable the others to hide their crimes behind that resolution, should not be brought [to parliament],” said the Bosnian Serb prime minister.