UK leads calls for UN resolution on Srebrenica genocide

Britain drafts a resolution in UN for 20th anniversary of Srebrenica genocide reflecting on the UN's failure to prevent killings

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The United Kingdom, one of the permanent members of UN Security Council, is drafting a resolution on the UN’s failure to prevent the genocide in the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina in July 1995.

Edward Ferguson, Britain's ambassador to Sarajevo, said that the exact wording of the resolution was still under discussion.

"We expect that it will commemorate the victims of the genocide at Srebrenica, and those who suffered on all sides in the war, and that it will encourage further steps towards reconciliation and a brighter future for Bosnia and Herzegovina," a spokesperson at the British mission to the United Nations said.

"This is also an occasion for the international community to reflect on the lessons learned from one of the darkest moments in UN history and reaffirm our determination to prevent genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

The UK’s resolution move has angered Bosnian Serbs, a community living in their own autonomous region in Bosnia and Herzegovina called the Republic of Srpska.

"When judging such initiatives, you have to consider whether it is stabilising or destabilizing the situation here," Zeljka Cvijanovic, Prime Minister of Bosnia's autonomous Serb Republic, told reporters according to the FENA news agency.

The genocide, organised by the Serb authorities under the former leader of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic and his aide Ratko Mladic, resulted in the death of 8,372 Bosnian Muslims.

UN Resolutions 819 and 836 had designated Srebrenica a “safe areas” to be protected by Dutch UN forces using "all necessary means, including the use of force."

Continued attacks on UN Safe Areas as well as the continued Siege of Sarajevo also ultimately resulted in a NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina named Operation Deliberate Force.

The Dutch UN soldiers are accused of serious and willful misconduct. Last year, the Dutch government said it would pay the families of Srebrenica victims 20,000 euros each in compensation, after a civil court ruling that the state was indeed liable for the deaths.

Slobodan Milosevic died in 2006 in The Hague while on trial for his war crimes. Radovan Karadzic meanwhile was arrested in Belgrade in July 2008 and brought before Belgrade's War Crimes Court a few days later. Extradited to the Netherlands, he is now in the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

TRTWorld and agencies