Bosnia seeks to revise Serbia genocide ruling

Bosnian Serbs say the move violates the Constitution and the 1995 Dayton agreement that ended the civil war. Bosnian Muslims say justice is being done.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

The Muslim Bosniak member of Bosnia's three-man presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, defends the move at a press conference on February 23, 2017.

Bosnia formally submitted on Thursday its request for a revision of a UN court ruling that exonerated Serbia of direct responsibility for killings, rapes and "ethnic cleansing" during the Bosnian war between 1992 and 1995.

The move has angered Bosnian Serbs who say it violates the Constitution and the 1995 Dayton agreement that ended the war.

The Muslim Bosniak member of Bosnia's three-man presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, defended the decision.

"The request is being submitted at this very moment," he said, adding, "I think that I am on the path of truth and justice."

The ambassadors of major powers, including Russia and the United States, have urged all parties in Bosnia to pursue dialogue and avoid any unilateral actions that could exacerbate inter-ethnic tensions.

TRT World’s Kieran Berg reports.

What led Bosnia to appeal the ruling?

The Bosnian war that erupted following the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s claimed more than 100,000 lives.

In the original case launched by the Muslim-dominated government of Bosnia in 1993, Sarajevo accused Serbia of masterminding a genocide through widespread "ethnic cleansing."

On February 26, 2007, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague ruled that genocide had occurred only at Srebrenica, where about 8,000 Muslims were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb forces, and not in other parts of Bosnia.

It said there was not enough evidence to suggest that Belgrade was directly responsible.

The ICJ did find, however, that Serbia, which gave political and military backing to Bosnian Serbs, had breached international law by failing to prevent the slaughter.

The 10-year deadline for Bosnia to request a review of the decision was set to expire on February 26.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies