June 18, 2024


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The United Nations approves a resolution to commemorate the genocide in Srebrenica in 1995 annually due to Serb opposition.

The United Nations approves a resolution to commemorate the genocide in Srebrenica in 1995 annually due to Serb opposition.

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – The United Nations on Thursday approved a resolution to designate an annual day to commemorate the 1995 genocide of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims by Bosnian Serbs, a move strongly opposed by Serbs who fear it will brand them all as supporters of “Genocide”. Of mass murder.

The vote in the General Assembly, which includes 193 members, came with a majority of 84 votes to 19, with 68 abstentions, which reflects the concerns of many countries about the impact of the vote on reconciliation efforts in deeply divided Bosnia.

Supporters were hoping for 100 yes votes. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who voted against the resolution, told the General Assembly that the total of abstentions and “no” votes – 87 – was more than 84 votes in favour. It is also worth noting that 22 countries were absent from the meeting and did not vote, some reportedly due to disagreement over the commemoration.

The resolution designates July 11 as the “International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide,” to be observed annually starting two months later.

The resolution, sponsored by Germany and Rwanda, does not name Serbs as the culprit, but that did not stop an intense lobbying campaign for a “no” vote by Bosnian Serb President Milorad Dodik and the populist president of neighboring Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic. , who had the Serbian flag draped over his shoulders while sitting in the parliament hall during the vote.

Vukic told UN members after the vote that all those involved in the Srebrenica massacre had already been convicted and sentenced to prison, and he said the only purpose of the resolution was to “place moral and political guilt on one side” – the people of Serbia and the Republic of Serbia. Srpska, Bosnian Serbs, half of Bosnia.

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He said: “Those who wanted to stigmatize the Serbian people did not succeed and will never succeed.” “Nothing can unite the Serbian people better than what is happening here today.”

Russia’s Nebenzia described the adoption of the resolution as a “Pyrrhic victory for its sponsors,” saying that if their goal was to “divide the General Assembly… they succeeded brilliantly.”

But the adoption of the resolution was welcomed by Zeljko Komsic, the Croatian member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, family members of the Srebrenica victims, and many Western and Islamic countries.

“We were actually expecting more countries to be supportive, but we are satisfied,” Shahida Abdurrahmanović, who lost several family members during the genocide, told the AP. “Those who abstained and voted against it – we will put them on the pillar of shame that we are building at the Memorial Centre.”

On July 11, 1995, the Bosnian Serbs overran a UN-protected safe zone in Srebrenica. They separated at least 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys from their wives, mothers and sisters and slaughtered them. Those who tried to escape were pursued through the forest and over the mountains surrounding the city.

The Srebrenica killings were the bloody climax of Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, which came after the breakup of then-Yugoslavia unleashed nationalist sentiment and territorial ambitions that pitted Bosnian Serbs against the country’s two other main ethnic groups, Croats and Muslim Bosniaks.

Both Serbia and Bosnian Serbs He denied it This genocide in Srebrenica occurred even though two United Nations tribunals have declared it so.

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Before the vote, Vucic urged UN members to vote “no,” describing the resolution as “highly politicized.” He warned that it would open a “Pandora’s box” and said it was not about reconciliation. He said that this would only lead to “opening old wounds” and causing “complete political chaos” in the region and at the United Nations. He also strongly attacked Germany for trying to give “moral lessons” to the international community and Serbia.

The decision by the International Court of Justice, the highest court of the United Nations, in 2007, that the actions committed in Srebrenica constituted genocide, was included in the draft resolution. This was the first genocide in Europe since then Nazi Holocaust In World War II, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 6 million Jews and people from other minorities.

Germany’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Antje Leendertze, presented the resolution, saying that her country wants to build a multilateral system to prevent the recurrence of Nazi Germany’s crimes, honor the memory of the victims of Srebrenica, and support survivors. She added that the resolution “is not directed against anyone, not against Serbia,” adding that it is in fact directed at the perpetrators of genocide.

Leendertse noted that the United Nations officially commemorates the 1994 Rwandan genocide on April 7 every year — the day the Hutu-led government began killing members of the Tutsi minority and their supporters. She added that the resolution aims to “bridge the gap” by devoting a separate United Nations day to commemorate the victims of Srebrenica.

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Menachem Rosensaft, the son of Holocaust survivors and an assistant professor at Cornell Law School, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that designating July 11 as the official day of remembrance for the Srebrenica genocide “is a moral and legal imperative.”

Murdered Muslim Bosniaks deserve to be commemorated for their death and manner Srebrenica was supposed to be a safe zone, but Dutch UN peacekeepers abandoned it, leaving the Bosniaks who took refuge there “to be killed under UN surveillance.” Rosensft said.

Richard Gowan, director of the United Nations International Crisis Group, described the timing of the vote as “unfortunate, given allegations that Israel seeks to Genocide in Gaza“.


Associated Press writers Eldar Emrek in Srebrenica and Jovana Jake and Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade, Serbia, contributed to this report.