After barely a day in office, Serbia’s new president Tomislav Nikolic has threatened renewed tension in the Balkans by saying that the 1995 Srebrenica massacre was not genocide.
His comments come despite international
recognition that the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces during the war that tore apart former Yugoslavia does amount to a genocide.
“We can not say that this was a premeditated act and that what happened was an act of genocide,” said Nikolic.
“A great crime occurred in Srebrenica, committed by a few Serbs on some members of the Serbian people. We must find them, try them and punish them. That’s it. There’s no need for this to cause conflict between Serbs and Croats or Serbs and Bosnians. It mustn’t affect relations between our countries, our peoples.”
Nikolic said the tragedy amounted to “grave war crimes”.
One member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, has slammed the denial, saying Nikolic’s remarks were “a source of new misunderstanding in the region”.