Bosnia reacts after Albania fails to pass resolution on Srebrenica genocide

In 1995, Serbian troops killed more than 8,000 Bosnian men and boys in less than two weeks in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the genocide was ongoing, now-Serbian President Aleksander Vučić, then an MP, threatened the international community, warning them not to interfere. “For every Serb killed, we will kill 100 Muslims,” he vowed in the Serbian parliament. [EPA/FEHIM DEMIR]

Bosnian MP Sabina Cudic addressed an open letter to Prime Minister Edi Rama, criticising his government’s refusal to vote on a resolution condemning the Srebrenica genocide and accusing him of tabling the resolution as a concession to Serbia.

In 1995, Serbian troops killed more than 8,000 Bosnian men and boys in less than two weeks in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the genocide was ongoing, now-Serbian President Aleksander Vučić, then an MP, threatened the international community, warning them not to interfere. “For every Serb killed, we will kill 100 Muslims,” he vowed in the Serbian parliament.

Vučić later became a minister of propaganda under President Slobodan Milosevic during the Serbian massacres in Kosovo in 1998-1999.

“I would like to remind you that the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague found, in no uncertain terms, that the Serb forces committed genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995, when more than 8,000 Bosniaks were killed, and more than 40,000 people driven out of their homes,” Cudic writes in her letter.

On Thursday (12 May), the Socialist majority and Rama said they rejected the resolution as it had been supported by MP Sali Berisha.

“These are things that must not be the subject of political speculation… You therefore must explain to the entire European, and especially to the Albanian and Bosnian-Herzegovinian public, as to why the Resolution on the Condemnation of Genocide was not included on the agenda of parliament,” she continues.

Cudic criticised Rama’s attempt to “transfer responsibility to the opposition” for the failure, saying such a rhetoric “is particularly humiliating to the victims.”

She denounced the prime minister’s attempt to use this tragedy for political gain and reminded him that “no one prevented  [the Socialist Party] from proposing the Resolution, or adopting it, since you have a majority in parliament.”

“You did not do that. Your human and moral responsibility, and basic political reason, dictates that you place the Proposed Resolution on the agenda, even if it comes from your fiercest opponents,” Cudic asserts.

Cudic also called out Rama’s close ties to Vučić, implying that the decision was motivated by Rama’s rapprochement with Vučić.

“My second impression is that you postponed considering the Resolution (or perhaps rejected it altogether?) due to your government’s foreign policy efforts regarding an Open Balkans and negotiations with Vučić. It is your duty to answer whether any concession for foreign policy is worthy enough of humiliating the victims of genocide, and if so, what this concession is,” said Cudic.

Finally, Cudic writes that institutional condemnations of the Srebrenica genocide are part of larger efforts to defend democratic values, especially because of the threats posed by Russia to these values.

“In the context of their aggression on Ukraine and the possibility of a new genocide in Europe, this is no longer justice, a difference of values, but also a division into blocs and trenches. The issue of the genocide in Srebrenica is what sets Albania’s place in the division, more than anything else,” Cudic also said.

“It is because of my great respect for the Albanian people that I want Albania to join the Western side and not to go back to where it was during the time of Enver Hoxha,” she concluded calling for parliament to adopt the resolution in the July session dedicated to Srebrenica, “without exception.”

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