News 13 Jul 15

Serbia Seeks Probe Into PM's 'Lynching' in Srebrenica

Serbia has called for a thorough investigation into who threw stones and water bottles at Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Srebrenica - an act that the Serbian Foreign Minister called 'attempted murder'.

Ivana Nikolic, Elvira Jukic
BIRN
Belgrade, Sarajevo
Vucic at the meeting after the incident in Srebrenica. Photo: BETA.

Serbia’s Foreign Ministry has written to its Bosnian counterpart urging the Bosnian authorities to track down and punish those who threw objects at Prime Minister Vucic in Srebrenica on July 11.

“We demand a full investigation. And not only an investigation without results but the arrests not only of direct perpetrators but also of the organizers [of the attack]," Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on July 13.

"This was the attempted murder and lynching of a Prime Minister of one country.”

So far, only one person has been arrested for the attack, media have reported.

The incident marred the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, commemorating the deaths of over 7,000 Bosniak men and boys in the UN "safe area".

They were killed by Bosnian Serb forces under Ratko Mladic after they overran the isolated Bosniak enclave in eastern Bosnia in July 1995.

Despite refusing to call the massacre an act of genocide, the Serbian leader decided to come to Srebrenica.

In the run-up to the event political tensions heightened after Serbia's ally, Russia, vetoed a UK-sponsored Security Council resolution condemning the massacre and terming it genocidal.

Police said several flying objects hit Vucic in the face and broke his glasses.

Earlier, Vucic had been welcomed at the event on Saturday by a member of the Mothers of Srebrenica, a group of victims’ relatives. The group later condemned the attack.

Vucic accused extremists of planning to attack him despite the fact that he had offered “the hand of reconciliation.

“I am sorry that people didn’t acknowledge my sincere intentions to build friendship between Serbs and Bosniaks,” he said after returning to Belgrade.

The incident also sparked mutual accusations over who was to blame for the attack on Vucic during the event.

Mirsad Vilic, head of coordination of police bodies in Bosnia, said Vucic’s own security officers were to blame as they could have forseen that such an incident would happen.

Serbia’s Interior Minister, Nebojsa Stefanovic, called Vilic irresponsible.

“It is unacceptable that Vilic does not show even a shred of responsibility, particularly bearing in mind that the murder was prevented only thanks to the sober action of the PM’s security,“ Stefanovic said.

The Council of Ministers, Bosnia's government, held an extraordinary session on Monday, saying afterwards that it condemned the attack and also sought a swift investigation.

“This event should not have happened and especially not...in a place such as Srebrenica and Potocari,” the Bosnian Prime Minister, Denis Zvizdic, said.

“It should have not happened also because all the security agencies from Bosnia and Herzegovina had guaranteed security for Vucic,” he added.

Zvizdic said the incident highlighted all the known weaknesses in the security system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially in terms of coordination.

Adding to that argument, Security Minister Dragan Mektic said that the State Investigative and Protection Agency, SIPA, which had the best equipped special police units, had refused to participate in the security at Potocari on July 11, although the Direction for Coordination of Police Bodies asked it to do so.

Bosnian Security Minister Dragan Mektic also called for a swift investigation. “Initial information shows there were some problems with the organization and security,” he said.

In Belgrade, the Serbian daily newspaper Blic said it believed the chief organiser of the attack on Vucic is a senior member of the main Bosniak party, the Party of Democratic Action, SDA - and a close associate to Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency.

Blic also said the group of men who helped "Asim S" carry out the incident are all close to Naser Oric, former Bosniak wartime commander of Srebrenica who was extradited to Sarajevo from Switzerland on a Serbian war crimes warrant.

Many EU officials have condemned the attack on the Serbian leader, including Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, who, on the behalf of the EU, urged the Bosnian authorities to “undertake a full investigation” into the attack.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

News 10 Jul 07

Del Ponte Praises Bosnia for 'Good' Cooperation

Analysis 18 Sep 07

Truth Commission Divides Bosnia

News 08 Nov 07

Srebrenica Trial Opens in Bosnia

News 28 Nov 07

Srebrenica Suit Gets Go-ahead

Analysis 10 Dec 07

Hague Court Acquits Serbia of Genocide

Analysis 10 Dec 07

No Consensus on Srebrenica Aid Bid

Investigation 10 Dec 07

JUSTICE REPORT INVESTIGATION: Srebrenica Suspect is an RS Official

News 16 Jan 08

Srebrenica Report Sent to RS Police

Analysis 24 Jan 08

Bosnians Consider Del Ponte Legacy

News 25 Mar 08

Bosnia Victims Urge Montenegro Leader Talks

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.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter