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Balkan nations hail UN decision to designate day to remember Srebrenica

25 May 2024 20:19 (UTC+04:00)
Balkan nations hail UN decision to designate day to remember Srebrenica

Balkan nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia, Kosovo, and Albania welcomed the adoption of the draft resolution by the UN General Assembly to declare July 11 as Srebrenica Genocide Remembrance Day, Azernews reports citing the Anadolu Agency.

The UN on Thursday passed a resolution to designate July 11 as the day to remember the Srebrenica genocide of 1995 with overwhelming support from the General Assembly.

The resolution was spearheaded by Germany with co-sponsorship from more than 40 countries.

Bosnian Foreign Minister Elmedin Konakovic welcomed the move.

"July 11, the day the genocide was committed, will be commemorated in other countries of the world as well as in the UN General Assembly. Children will be educated in schools and raising awareness about the Srebrenica Genocide will be a necessity for the civilized part of the world," Konakovic said on Facebook.

Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob also welcomed the decision.

"I welcome today's adoption of the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica. The resolution emphasizes that the horrors that happened almost 30 years ago must never be repeated or forgotten," said Golob in a statement.

Croatian Foreign Ministry said that the country welcomes the adoption of the resolution.

"Croatia bases its position on respect for international law. In 2007, the International Court established that genocide was committed in the UN protected zone in Srebrenica," said the ministry in a statement.

Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani said that July 11 will be remembered every day.

"The world is giving future generations the chance to learn from the lessons to be learned from Srebrenica," said Osmani on X.

Albanian President Bajram Begaj said that his country once again confirmed its harmony with Western values by voting for the decision in question.

"Albania once again affirmed its alignment with Western values by voting for and committing to the adoption of this resolution. This date will serve as a perpetual reminder to condemn genocide, ensuring that such massacres are never repeated and simultaneously providing a response to those who deny genocide and such horrific crimes," said Begaj on X.

Milorad Dodik, president of Bosnia Herzegovina's Republika Srpska entity, told local media that the resolution was unsuccessful as a simple majority could not be reached.

The vote passed with 84 nations voting in favor and 19 against. A total of 68 countries abstained.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic shared a photo of himself carrying the Serbian flag at the UN General Assembly.

"I am proud of my Serbia," said Vucic.

Montenegrin Serbs organized a protest rally in front of the Montenegro Government building in the capital Podgorica.

Several hundred citizens gathered and chanted "betrayal, betrayal".

The crowd also said that "the adoption of the Resolution on Srebrenica can cause new conflicts and dissatisfaction in the Balkans".

Meanwhile, in Kosovo's North Mitrovica municipality, a group of Serbs organized a convoy to support Serbian President Vucic, who attended the UN General Assembly session on Srebrenica.

Condemning the denial of the Srebrenica genocide, the resolution denounced the glorification of crimes against humanity, genocide and war criminals.

Highlighting the importance of ongoing efforts for the identification of victims and the retrieval of bodies, the resolution emphasizes the need for all perpetrators to be brought to justice.

While not legally binding, General Assembly resolutions carry political weight and send a strong message to the international community.

More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed in Srebrenica, despite the presence of Dutch peacekeeping troops, as Serb forces attempted to wrest the territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to form a state.

In 2007, the International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled that a genocide had been committed in Srebrenica.

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