You create the slogan that fuels genocide, you must move away in shame – disappear! You cannot be an agent of reconciliation or forgiveness until and if the victims say you can.
Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksanadar Vucic said that he had the best intentions of seeking reconciliation and peace when he went on Saturday 11 July to Srebrenica to attend the 20th anniversary of the horrible crime of genocide perpetrated by Serbs against Bosnian Muslims, but I find it difficult to accept these words of his as honest and as having the interests of the victims in mind. On the contrary, what Vucic says was done for the sake of peace seems more like an act actually done in order to provoke violence among the grieving crowd at Srebrenica on Saturday when beside the 20th anniversary of the genocide recently released remains of some 130 butchered Muslims in 1995 were being buried at the site on that very same day.
“We should live in peace … if you want me and my offered hand I’m ready to come to Srebrenica on July 11” for a commemoration ceremony marking the massacre’s 20th anniversary, Vucic said a couple of weeks before the 20th anniversary. Since that date he was among Serbia’s leaders who worked hard in order to achieve Russia’s veto at the United Nations Security Council against UN proclamation of 1995 Srebrenica massacres as genocide (about which I wrote in my two last posts). Vucic’s move to attend Srebrenica on Saturday did not seem lined with true remorse on behalf of the Serbs who committed the atrocities as he said in an associated statement: “We Serbs show our greatness also by being able to bow before the victims of others as we do before our own, before the hundreds of thousands of who died in all the fatherland wars. But don’t make us feel humiliated because we are Serbs and because we fought valiantly for our freedom.”
There was absolutely no freedom to be fought for in 1990’s Bosnia and Herzegovina for Serbs, it was the Serbs who started ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs and genocide against non-Serbs in order to grab land for Serbs and Greater Serbia. Much of this heinous criminal activity was, to my belief, fanned by the slogans such as the one the very same Vucic pronounced against Bosnia and Herzegovina from Serbia’s parliament in the early 1990’s: “For one Serb, we will kill 100 Muslims.”
Aleksanadr Vucic went to Srebrenica on Saturday 11 July despite warnings by even his own security that risks were too great; that it would be dangerous for him to turn up at the event at that particular time – only three days after he and his government and the whole of Serbia’s leadership fought hard to make sure Srebrenica genocide was not named “genocide” at the UN SC. But since he decide not to heed the warnings one would think that he would have turned back at the site of large banners with his 1990’s slogan: “For one Serb, we will kill 100 Muslims.” Surely, he knew then that his presence was not welcome at that time!
So until the rocks, shoes and bottles started flying at Aleksander Vucic from the enraged crowds whose grief at that mass funeral and 20th anniversary was further deepened by the very Vucic among them, who only three days before worked the international scene for the event they were commemorating and grieving not to be called genocide, even if all know it was, the proceedings were peaceful, solemn and respectful.
A mass of angry folk began to surge forward, a chant of “Allahu Akhbar”—God is Great—went up and the security services finally began to do their job. The Serbian prime minister, who had been hit and whose glasses were broken was hurriedly evacuated.
And, now, while the Serbian government representatives are saying this was an attempted assassination of Serbia’s Prime Minister Vucic, are calling for Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities to locate, arrest and charge the culprits with attempted murder, Aleksandar Vucic keeps playing his obviously falsely compassionate card for the victims of Srebrenica. “There are fools in every nation, there is no deficit here either,” he said, stressing that he “knows that a majority of Bosniaks do not agree with what happened today.”
“Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has shown by his presence the readiness to bow his head to Srebrenica victims and stepped forward to improve relations both with the region and the whole country. We expect public condemnation from officials of Bosnia and Herzegovina of Serbia’s prime minister’s attempted assassination,” said a diplomatic note from Serbia.
What utter rubbish! Serbia must know that reconciliation and bowing heads to victims is only possible without the people whose slogans fueled genocide in the first place.
Given what had occurred against calling Srebrenica 1995 a genocide in the days leading up to the 20th anniversary of the genocide Aleksanadar Vucic knew he was walking into a fire at Srebrenica and that his presence would only fuel that fire.
He had made his mind up to provoke victims of genocide into rage and anger. What a low act!
In my eyes he does not deserve the political points he seems to be gaining from those who think that reconciliation is a matter of heartless logistical steps rather than involving consideration of the emotions of those who had suffered.
Just imagine this: would you defend Adolf Hitler if he had survived and attended an anniversary of Auschwitz death camp and was pelted with stones by the grieving, angry members of victims’ families? The hard truth here in Srebrenica is that Aleksandar Vucic did utter the slogan in Serbia’s parliament in early 1990’s “For Every Killed Serb, We Will Kill 100 Bosniaks” and it must be obvious to all decent human beings that he cannot be a part of true reconciliation unless he resigns from political life in profound remorse of what he stood for in 1990’s and perhaps still does. To me he seems incapable of such remorse because his national pride and the reason for his existence seem to lie in achieving a Greater Serbia at any and all costs. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)