Reaction to the Serbian parliament’s apology for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre has revealed how deeply polarised the country still is about its wartime past.
Serbia’s ruling coalition of pro-Western Democrats and Socialists hopes to win EU and investor favour with the apology, which was adopted after 13 hours of debate in parliament.
President Boris Tadic said the events at Srebrenica brought shame on Serbia’s history and identity:
“Those who are not ready to adopt such a declaration, this political act, discredit their own people even more. I think that the declaration shows the greatest patriotism, our respect for the victims among others, and it is also proof that our people and our culture are inseparable parts of European culture and civilisation.”
As the worst atrocity in Europe since the Second World War, Srebrenica will be forever ingrained on the public consciousness.
Some say without the arrest of its alleged mastermind, Ratko Mladic, Serbia’s apology means little.