UN to ascertain Srebrenica genocide memorial day regardless of opposition from Serbia | EUROtoday

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The UN General Assembly voted Thursday to ascertain an annual day of remembrance for the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, regardless of livid opposition from Bosnian Serbs and Serbia.

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The decision written by Germany and Rwanda – nations synonymous with genocide within the twentieth century – obtained 84 votes in favour, 19 in opposition to with 68 abstentions and makes July 11 “International Day of Remembrance of the Srebrenica Genocide.”

“This resolution seeks to foster reconciliation, in the present and for the future,” mentioned Germany’s ambassador to the UN Antje Leendertse.

Ahead of the vote, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic warned the General Assembly that the transfer “will just open old wounds and that will create a complete political havoc.”

But he mentioned he didn’t deny the killings at Srebrenica, including that he bowed his “head to all the victims of the conflict in Bosnia.”

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Following the vote, Vucic draped himself together with his nation’s flag, posting a picture of himself, captioned “I am proud of my Serbia.”

Church bells rang out throughout Serbia on Thursday in protest. The Serbian Orthodox Church mentioned it hoped the gesture would unite Serbs in “prayers, serenity, mutual solidarity and firmness in doing good, despite untrue and unjust accusations it faces at the UN.”

Except Serbia, all the former Yugoslav republics voted for the decision, whereas a number of EU nations together with Greece, Cyprus and Slovakia abstained.

Bosnian Serb chief Milorad Dodik, in the meantime, denied a genocide had even taken place within the Bosnian metropolis and mentioned that his administration wouldn’t recognise the UN decision.

“There was no genocide in Srebrenica,” Dodik informed a press convention in Srebrenica.

Bosnian Serb forces captured Srebrenica – a UN-protected enclave on the time – on July 11, 1995, a number of months earlier than the top of Bosnia’s civil warfare, which noticed roughly 100,000 individuals killed.

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In the next days, Bosnian Serb forces killed round 8,000 Muslim males and youngsters – against the law described as a genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the previous Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice.

The incident is taken into account the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II.

In addition to establishing the memorial day, the decision condemns “any denial” of the genocide and urges UN member nations to “preserve the established facts.”

In a letter to different UN members, Germany and Rwanda described the vote as a “crucial opportunity to unite in honoring the victims and acknowledging the pivotal role played by international courts.”

Threat to peace, safety

However, there was a livid response from Serbia and the Bosnian Serb management.

In an try and defuse tensions, the authors of the decision added – at Montenegro’s request – that culpability for the genocide is “individualised and cannot be attributed to any ethnic, religious or other group or community as a whole.”

That has not been sufficient for Belgrade.

In a letter despatched Sunday to all UN delegations, Serbian cost d’affaires Sasa Mart warned that elevating “historically sensitive topics serves only to deepen division and may bring additional instability to the Balkans.”

Russia’s UN ambassador, Vasily Nebenzia, mentioned “if the goal of the sponsors was to divide the General Assembly… then they’ve succeeded brilliantly.”

Moscow beforehand vetoed a UN Security Council decision in 2015 condemning the “crime of genocide at Srebrenica.”

Milorad Dodik, political chief within the Bosnian Serb entity – the place 1000’s of individuals demonstrated this April in opposition to the decision – mentioned the Srebrenica genocide had been a “sham.”

The European Union has responded strongly, with overseas affairs spokesman Peter Stano saying “there cannot be any denial” and “anyone trying to put it in doubt has no place in Europe.”

For family of the victims of the bloodbath, the UN debate is a vital second of their quest for peace.

“Those who led their people into this position (of genocide denial) must accept the truth, so that we can all find peace and move on with our lives,” mentioned Kada Hotic, 79-year-old co-director of an affiliation of Srebrenica moms, who misplaced her son, husband and two brothers.

The decision is “of the highest importance for spreading the truth,” mentioned Denis Becirovic, the Bosnian member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency.