Serbian Prime Minister pelted with stones and flees from Srebrenica memorial

2015-07-11 21:57:14 | Al Muslim News
Serbian Prime Minister pelted with stones and flees from Srebrenica memorial
Serbian PM (c) is sheltered by his bodyguards as an angry crowd throws stones at him at Srebrenica memorial

 

Serbian Prime Minister was forced to flee a ceremony held to mark the 20th anniversary of the slaughter of 8,000 Muslims by Serbs in Bosnian town.

Prime Minister Aleksandar  Vucic was forced to flee with his bodyguards Saturday under a hail of stones, water bottles, shoes and other objects thrown by mourners at a funeral prayer and mass-burial ceremony for 136 Srebrenica victims, whose remains were recently discovered, during the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Citizens from the Bosnian village of Potocari – the scene of the genocide of Bosnian Muslim men and boys in 1995 – shouted “justice” and “Vucic leave” as the Serbian premier was immediately manhandled away from the cemetery.

The 20th anniversary was held to remember four bloodsoaked days of Srebrenica genocide in July 1995 when More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed by Serbian in the UN refugees’ camp in eastern Bosnian town, despite the presence of Dutch UN peacekeeping soldiers. 

The women and children were forcibly separated from sons and husbands.

The men and boys were then led away by Serb armed escorts, before being lined up and shot during a series of massacres in the countryside nearby. Afterwards, the corpses of the victims were either heaped into mass graves or left scattered among the pine trees.

Srebrenica is still giving up its dead: month after month, more human remains are being found and identified by their DNA. So far, 6,974 victims of the massacre have been named, including 136 as the ceremony on Saturday began.

In all, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia places the final death toll at 7,826.

Before the ceremony, the Serbian prime minister wrote an open letter saying: "There are no words to express regret and pain for the victims as well as anger and bitterness towards those who committed that monstrous crime.”

Mr Vucic was forced to leave the occasion, his foreign minister condemning the incident as an attack on Serbia.

"This was an organized attack laced with political messages. I am happy [to know] that it was not organized by the victims' families. I have heard some Muslims from among the crowd say: ‘he is not guilty’," Vucic said after an emergency government meeting upon his return to the Serbian capital of Belgrade.

He claimed that he was given a warm welcome by the victims' families, and the Bosniak mayor of Srebrenica, Camil Durakovic, upon his arrival at the memorial and cemetery complex, adding that he refused to hide although he heard slogans demanding that he be "shot".

Serb Prime Minister Vucic also urged the Serbian people "to not raise their hands to anyone thinking they can do anything they want," as "we have to live together with the Bosniaks in the future, too."

Calling Bosniak mayor of Srebrenica Durakovic "a good person" after he apologized for the incident, Vucic said that he would meet with Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday or Monday.

In his remarks about the incident, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the crowd’s reactions had been “normal”.

Juncker added that Europe was determined to convict those responsible for the massacre of at least 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at the hands of Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica during the country's 1992-95 war.

Families seek justice

However, Amnesty International said on Saturday that thousands of family members of victims “continue to be denied justice, truth and reparation”.

Amnesty’s Director for Europe and Central Asia John Dalhuisen said: “Two decades after the world averted its gaze from the worst crime to be committed on European soil since 1945, the families of the victims of the Srebrenica genocide are still awaiting justice.”

Amnesty International added that Bosnia had increased resources for the prosecution of war crimes, yet that was “still insufficient” and stated that new investigations had to be launched and witnesses should be provided protection in order to fearlessly testify.

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