This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 17 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019
Advertisement

WATCH: Serbian PM stoned while attending commemoration for victims of massacre

More than 1,000 of the bodies of those killed are yet to be recovered.

Updated 19.05 

Source: RT/YouTube

SERBIAN PREMIER ALEKSANDAR Vucic was forced to flee a Srebrenica memorial today when an angry crowd hurled stones at him at the 20th anniversary commemoration of Europe’s worst mass killing since World War II, AFP reporters said.

Vucic had just laid a flower at a monument for thousands of victims identified and buried there when the crowd started to chant ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Great) and hurled stones, forcing the prime minister to run for cover shielded by his bodyguards.

Serbia’s Tanjug state-run news agency said Vucic was hit on the head by a stone and had his glasses broken.

Vucic, whose country backed Bosnian Serbs during and after the 1990s inter-ethnic war in Bosnia, was among numerous dignitaries and tens of thousands of people attending the commemoration in the eastern town.

Shortly before arriving, he condemned the “monstrous crime” in Srebrenica.

Serbian and Bosnian Serb politicians have long denied the extent of the killing, although two international tribunals have described the bloodshed as genocide.

The slaughter was followed a few months later by the peace deal which ended Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war. The conflict cost the lives of an estimated 100,000 people.

Background

Today marks twenty years to the day of the Bosnian Serb army overrunning the UN ‘safe haven’ of Srebrenica, forcing Dutch peacekeepers to withdraw.

This lead to a massacre that saw the systematic rounding up and killing of 8,000 Bosniaks, most of who were male.

In the days that followed their bodies disposed of in the surrounding forested areas in mass graves.

Investigations following the incident have found that it was well planned and significant steps were taken to disguise the activity.

The day is see as a low point for the United Nations which was unable to respond adequately to the aggression of the Bosnian Serb army.

Netherlands Srebrenica Dutch UN peacekeepers in the village of Potocari, 5km north of Srebrenica Source: Associated Press

In 2005, the Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan stated that the UN had made serious errors of judgement and that the incident would haunt its history forever.  

Their forces on the ground were overwhelmed by the 1,500 Serbian troops arriving into Srebrenica.

Speaking at the time, then Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic said that the people of Srebrenica had been “betrayed” by the international community. 

Serbia Mladic Charges A young Muslim refugee watching as other refugees pass in a UN armoured vehicle and arrive at a base near Tuzla. Around 5,000 refugees were moved by the UN after Srebrenica was captured. Source: DARKO BANDIC/AP/Press Association Images

After Srebrenica fell to Serb troops, 25,000 sought refuge in a car battery factory being used by UN peacekeepers – although this was later surrendered to Bosnian Serb forces.

Following this, many of those who had been at the camp in Srebrenica were evacuated to an airbase near to Tuzla, a city in the east of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

While many women and children were escorted by the peacekeeping organisation, a large number of Bosnian men who had fled Srebrenica after the initial wave of aggression were required to make a 55km trek through a heavily mined forest to make it to back onto Bosnian territory.

Reporters present when some of the men arrived at the town of Tuzla described the site of them as being like “an army of ghosts”.

EU War Crimes Karadzic Refugees newly arrived at a UN base near Tuzla following their evacuation from Srebrenica Source: Darko Bandic/AP/Press Association Images

In the past 20 years 233 mass graves with the bodies of those killed during the massacre have been found and investigated, according to Aljazeera.

Yugoslavia Bosnia Serbia Karadzic Arrest Refugees at the UN base at Tuzla airport after being evacuated from Srebrenica Source: Darko Bandic/AP/Press Association Images

Attempts to find those killed during the massacre are ongoing and around 1,000 remain missing to this day.

On Wednesday a resolution in the United Nations to condemn the action as a ‘crime of genocide’ was vetoed by Russia who said that it would unfairly single out Serbian people and could potentially upset the balance of peace.

Bosnia Srebrenica Anniversary A Bosnian woman walking among tombstones at the memorial centre in for the victims in Potocari Source: Amel Emric/AP/Press Association Images

Bosnia Srebrenica Source: Amel Emric/AP/Press Association Images

First published 08.15am 

With reporting by - © AFP, 2015

Read: A conversation with Robert Fisk

Also: Serbia did not commit genocide in Croatia

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

Read next:

COMMENTS (91)