Bosnian Muslims accuse Serb authorities of harassment

Srebrenica mayor anxious over attitudes of Serb police after raids see arrests of Bosnian Muslims

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Srebrenica Mayor Camil Durakovic has accused Serb authorities of looking for excuses to investigate and harass the Muslim residents of his town in the Serb-run half on Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Durakovic, a Bosnian Muslim, on Thursday said that Serb police were trying to repress the Muslim community after police stormed into the houses of Muslims and arrested them without a proper explanation.

"Terrorism is a serious global problem and we must all fight against it, but you cannot use it as an excuse to send masked, armed men to search houses of Bosniaks [Bosnian Muslims] and arrest people without any evidence," he said.

On Wednesday, Bosnian Serb police searched the houses of Bosnian Muslims and arrested 30 people across the country, including two from Srebrenica, citing alleged links with terrorists.

The operations started last week, when a gunman raided a police station in northeast Bosnia, shooting a policeman and wounding two others while yelling “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great).

After investigations, police concluded that the shooter had links with militant groups.

As part of the Dayton agreement, which brought an end to the war in 1994, Bosnia has three main ethnic groups (Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats), who alternate the presidency between them in eight-month terms.

After the war, Bosnia was split into two semiautonomous parts, the Serb-run Republika Srpska and a federation shared by Bosniaks and Croats. Each has its own president, government and police.

Bosniaks in Srebrenica were subject to systematic killings between 1992 and 1995 when Serbs ethnically cleansed more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in the town.

The units in the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of General Ratko Mladic were responsible for the mass killings, as well as other abuses including starvation and rape.

TRTWorld and agencies