news 06 Apr 12

Serbia Gives Sarajevo Siege Anniversary a Miss

No officials from Belgrade will attend events marking the 20th anniversary of the start of the Bosnian Serb siege of Sarajevo, officials have confirmed.

Bojana Barlovac
BIRN
Belgrade

No one from the Serbian government will attend the April 6 commemoration of the start of the Bosnian Serb siege that cost more than 11,500 lives before it ended in 1995, Milivoje Mihajlovic, head of the government's information bureau, told Balkan Insight.

Jasmina Stojanov, spokesperson for the outgoing Serbian President Boris Tadic, also got surprised when asked by Balkan Insight whether leader of the ruling Democrats had plans of visiting Sarajevo.

„He will be in Prokuplje on Friday,“ Stojanov said.

Serbian President Boris Tadic resigned on Wednesday, nine months before the end of his mandate, paving the way for an early presidential election to be held together with general and local polls on May 6.

He is widely seen as a man committed to reconciliation in the Balkans and his contribution to peace in the Balkans led to him being awarded the Council of Europe's annual North-South Prize award in 2012.

But as elections loom, Serbian politicians are busy visiting towns across Serbia, talking to ordinary voters.

According to the Research and Documentation Centre Sarajevo, of the 11,541 people killed in the Sarajevo siege, 643 were children.

Media outlets in Serbia have also ignored the 20th anniverary of the start of the siege.

Instead, one of the most popular daily newspapers, Vecernje Novosti, published a story about a memorial service conducted by the Serb Orthodox Bishop of Zvornik and Tuzla in memory of nine Serbs killed in the region at the start of the conflict.

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