Serbia condemns 1995 Srebrenica massacre

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Srebrenica Potocari Memorial
Image: Dans-eng.

Serbia's parliament has approved a landmark resolution condemning the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in which 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb troops. This tragedy is considered the worst atrocity carried out in Europe since the Second World War and a symbol of the brutality of the 1992–95 Balkan wars.

After thirteen hours of debate, 127 of the 250 Serbia's parliament lawmakers voted to pass the landmark resolution; only 173 were present. "The parliament of Serbia strongly condemns the crime committed against the Bosnian Muslim population of Srebrenica in July 1995", says the resolution. Also, the text apologises to the families of the victims "because not everything possible was done to prevent the tragedy".

But yesterday, Serbia showed the world how deeply divided it was. Democrats and Socialists, the pro-Western ruling coalition, voted in favor of the resolution because they want to bring Serbia closer to its goal of becoming a member of the European Union. The nationalist opposition, on the other hand, voted against it, saying that war crimes were made against Bosnian Serbs as well. Serb Muslim lawmakers were not satisfied with the text because it doesn't use the word "genocide", despite the term's use by the European Union and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

The former Serb Bosnian leader Radovan Karadžić is currently on trial in the UN court. The general who commanded the Serb soldiers in Srebrenica massacre, Ratko Mladić, is still on the run. Slobodan Milošević, president of Serbia during the Balkan wars, was found dead in his cell four years ago.