The Bosnian Serb Republic issued a formal apology Feb. 28 for crimes committed in Bosnia’s 1992-5 civil war, and especially the Srebrenica massacre. But the statement stopped short of using the word “genocide.” (Jurnalo, Germany, Feb. 28) Meanwhile, Sarajevo Univeristy and the International University of Sarajevo shut their doors in a one-day strike March 2 in protest of the World Court’s acquittal of Serbia on genocide charges. International University spokesman Emir Hadzikadunic said the positions of both the World Court and the Serb Republic were hypocritical. “Everyone knows that the Serb Republic is a genocide creation,” he said. (Javno, Croatia, March 2)
In Belgrade, Serbian President Boris Tadic has called on parliament to issue a declaration condemning the Srebrenica massacre. But the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) of acting Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica opposes the idea, and prospects for the measure appear remote. (RFE/RL, March 2)
The Muslim member of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s three-member presidency, Haris Silajdzic, said Feb. 28 that anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe contributed to the World Court’s decision. “Europe is more inclined to the fascism of Serbian territorial expansionism than to democracy championed by the Bosniaks,” the Croatian news agency Hina quoted Silajdzic as saying. But citing the Court’s ruling that the Srebrenica massacre was an “act of genocide,” Silajdzic called for the adoption of a Bosnian law to prohibit denial that genocide was committed.
He also emphasized that Bosnia’s current political division is result of the ’90s genocide. He said the ruling “means that we will have to abolish the consequences of genocide. That is our obligation. I am primarily referring to the current organization of the country, which is a direct consequence of genocide. A new constitution must reflect the multiethnic character of the society of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as it had been for hundreds of years.” Silajdzic said that “some parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina have become ethnic apartheids, which is not sustainable.” (RFE/RL, March 1)
We have noted before that the European laws against Holocuast denial are counter-productive. Replicating this error in Bosnia hardly seems consistent with the “democracy” Silajdzic invokes—even if we share his outrage at the denial.
See our last post on Bosnia.