Albanian parliament refuses to condemn Srebrenica Genocide

The opposition accused the majority led by Prime Minister Edi Rama of having close ties to Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, who denies the genocide. Meanwhile, the Socialist majority said it could not vote in favour of a resolution supported by one specific member of parliament: Sali Berisha.  [Shutterstock/Zvonimir Atletic]

An opposition resolution condemning the Srebrenica Genocide committed by Serbian troops in 1995 was rejected by parliament on Thursday amid the ruling party’s growing friendship with Serbia.

The opposition accused the majority led by Prime Minister Edi Rama of having close ties to Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, who denies the genocide. Meanwhile, the Socialist majority said it could not vote in favour of a resolution supported by one specific member of parliament: Sali Berisha.

The resolution was initiated by Democratic Party MP Tritan Shehu at a time when Rama has been facing increased criticism over his support for and collaboration with Vučić, which the opposition and many experts consider to be at the detriment of Kosovo.

Simultaneously, the opposition has ramped up its rhetoric against the Albanian government since MP Sali Berisha launched an initiative to take over the main opposition party.

In 1995, Serbian troops killed more than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys in less than two weeks in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

While the genocide was ongoing, Vučić, then an MP, threatened the international community, warning them not to interfere: “For every Serb killed, we will kill 100 Muslims,” he vowed from the Serbian parliament.

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

The government of Kosovo is preparing to ask the International Court of Justice to recognise Serbia’s systematic killings of thousands of Albanians during the Kosovo war as genocide. Last year, the Kosovo parliament adopted a similar resolution condemning the Srebrenica Genocide.

Speaking in parliament Thursday, majority whip Taulant Balla said they could not support a resolution supported by Berisha, who served as Albania’s president during the Srebrenica Genocide. Balla alleged that Berisha had helped Milosevic commit the genocide by sending him oil in violation of an international oil embargo against Serbia.

Balla defended his party’s decision to shut down the resolution. Following Rama’s example, who called the 78-year-old opposition leader “the dead one,”  Balla also referred to Berisha as “a representative from the other world”.

Berisha denied allegations that he had violated the oil embargo on Serbia, saying that the only embargo he had violated was on sending arms to Bosnia and Croatia, who were fighting against Serbia at that time.

The opposition leader slammed Vučić for enabling the Srebrenica Genocide and called him a “little Putin” while warning the international community that the Serbian leader is willing to commit another genocide in the region.

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