Bosnian Serb leader calls Srebrenica genocide a ‘lie’

Bosnian Serb entity leader Dodik claims recognising Srebrenica massacre as a genocide is a "lie"

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The President of the Bosnian Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, said on Saturday, a week to the 20th anniversary of the Bosnian genocide, that the Srebrenica genocide was a “lie” and a conspiracy against the Serbs.

His speech came after his commemoration of the Serbs that had been killed in the town of Srebrenica-Bratunac during the Bosnian civil war in 1995.

Dodik, questioned the incidents that happened in Srebrenica and reminded reporters about Bratunac, where Serbs were also massacred during the war.

Several thousand people came to Bratunac to commemorate the Serb deaths with a religious ceremony at a cemetery where the 3,500 Serbs who died in the region during the conflict are buried.

The Serb president also criticised the UK-authored resolution in the UN, a draft that honours the victims of the Srebrenica massacre by suggesting July 11 be a memorial day for the incidents of 1995, the 20th anniversary, which is approaching.

The draft which was also seen on Tuesday by the Associated Press, "condemns in the strongest terms the genocide in Srebrenica."

"The goal is to register at the UN, on the base of false declarations and reports, that a genocide was committed against Muslims," said Dodik.

Dodik, in a speech broadcast live on the Bosnian Serb public television channel RTRS, said "Everything is a recurrent lie. We are told 'You should not deny.' How not to deny a lie? You are the ones who are not telling the truth. Where are the 8,300 men? Why do you lie?"

Serbia officially asked Russia, a member of the UN Security Council to which the UK also belongs, to veto the resolution.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic sent letters to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and all heads of state of the UN Security Council members, Tanjug reported on Saturday.

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic meanwhile said that the British Srebrenica resolution aims to reduce the whole tragedy of the war crimes on the whole territory of former Yugoslavia to just Srebrenica.

“Such an approach cannot lead to a genuine reconciliation. It is only provoking divisions and conflicts in the region,” Dacic warned.

On the other hand, Russia circulated a resolution in the UN on Tuesday that has been reported by Russian news agencies over the civil war in former Yugoslavia.

The spokesman for the Russian mission to the UN, Alexei Zaitsev, told the media that "We feel this draft is more balanced and oriented toward reconciliation of the sides, and not toward creating additional lines of division in Bosnia-Herzegovina," reported the Serbian news agency B92.

According to the Serbian newspaper, Vecernje Novosti, the resolution was two pages and contained seven points that the word "genocide" is mentioned once, while Srebrenica is not mentioned at all.

The Bosnian War between 1992-1995 left more than 200,000 people - mostly Muslim Bosniaks - dead.

In the last year of the war, 8,372 Bosniak civilians, including children and the elderly, were massacred by Serb forces in Srebrenica, which was then an UN-protected enclave.

In accordance with the Dayton Accords, Bosnia-Herzegovina was established as a country divided into two semi-independent entities - the Serbs' Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation.

TRTWorld and agencies