News 10 Feb 18

Bosnian Serb Minister Denies Recognising Srebrenica Genocide

Bosnian Security Minister Dragan Mektic has denied saying that Serbs must recognise that the Srebrenica massacres were genocide, insisting that he was misquoted by a newspaper.

Mladen Lakic
BIRN
Sarajevo
Dragan Mektic. Photo: Anadolu.

Dragan Mektic on Saturday attempted to prevent a major controversy after he was quoted by Vecernji List newspaper as saying that the 1995 Srebrenica massacres were genocide, insisting that he had been misquoted.

“There are relevant documents proving genocide and the Serbs have to admit it,” Mektic was quoted by Vecernji List as saying.

Bosnian Serb leaders have long denied that the 1995 massacres were genocide, despite the rulings of Bosnian and international courts.

“Let’s take a look at Germany, the German parliament apologised for the Holocaust again the other day, and we Serbs have to go through this catharsis and recognise the genocide,” Mektic was quoted as saying by Vecernji List.

“Nobody can commit crimes like those in Srebrenica in my name. That was done by sick minds and those people need to be prosecuted,” he was also quoted as saying.

But after the Vecernji List article was published, Mektic told media that this was not what he said.

“I absolutely did not comment on that question about Srebrenica so I reject and deny it completely,” he said, Bosnian Serb TV station RTRS reported.

He insisted that he was actually talking about a statement that Bosnian Serb President Milorad Dodik made in 2000.

Mektic did however admit that a “horrible crime” was committed in Srebrenica.

Some 8,000 Bosniaks were massacred after Bosnian Serb forces overran Srebrenica in July 1995 - the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

The Bosnian state court and the Hague Tribunal have sentenced 38 people to a total of 637 years in prison for the killings, as well as handing down three life sentences.

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Background

Srebrenica: Genocide Reconstructed

In July 1995 Srebrenica was shelled and occupied by the Army of Republic of Srpska,VRS, despite being declared a protected area by the United Nations. More than 7,000 people were killed, the victims of genocide.

Ratko Mladic: The Force Behind the Srebrenica Killings

The Bosnian Serb commander’s role in the genocide committed in Srebrenica is described in detail in many indictments and verdicts pronounced before local and international judicial institutions.

The Indictment Against Ratko Mladic

Indictments in 1995 and 2000, further amended in 2002 and 2010, charge the former commander of the Republika Srpska Army with genocide and other crimes.

Ratko Mladic: From Promising Officer to Bloodstained Warlord

When Mladic ordered his army to bomb the people of Sarajevo until they ‘go insane’, he revealed the murderous intentions that would culminate in the Srebrenica massacre.

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