Bosnian Serbs unveil statue to 'hero' Gavrilo Princip

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Bosnian Serbs unveil statue to 'hero' Gavrilo Princip

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Snubbing the official ceremonies for centenary of the First World War, Bosnian Serbs in eastern Sarajevo held their own, erecting a statue to Gavrilo Princip.

Painted by some as a terrorist who triggered the conflict in Europe, Bosnian Serbs consider him a hero emancipating them from occupation.

Davor Koric, grandson of a member of Young Bosnia, (the group to which Princip belonged) spoke of the difficulty in interpreting the past.

“At that time the cult of attacks existed as much as the cult of sacrifice and these people wanted to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of future generations. So one can’t talk of terriorism as it is defined nowadays, of course every assassination is an abhorrent act, but this was a sort of protest, an act of heroism,” explained Davor Koric.

The competing ceremonies threaten to drown out the message of unity which Bosnia hopes to send to the world after years of bloodshed following the breakup of Yugoslavia during the 1990s.