Resolution commemorating 1995 Srebrenica genocide passes UN

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By Creative Media News

  • UN establishes July 11 as Srebrenica Genocide Remembrance Day
  • Resolution passed despite opposition from Serbia and Bosnian Serbs
  • Germany and Rwanda emphasize reconciliation; Serbia and Bosnian Serbs express outrage

Despite the vehement opposition of Bosnian Serbs and Serbia, the United Nations General Assembly has voted to establish an annual day of remembrance for the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. 

On Thursday, the resolution, which Rwanda and Germany authored, was approved by 84 ballots and opposed by 19, with 68 abstentions. It designates July 11 as the International Day of Remembrance of the Srebrenica Genocide. 

Before the vote, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic cautioned the General Assembly that the action would “merely reopen old wounds, resulting in a complete political upheaval.” 

However, he also stated that he did not deny the atrocities committed at Srebrenica and that he inclined his head “to all the victims of the conflict in Bosnia.” 

German Ambassador Antje Leendertse stated, “The objective of this resolution is to promote reconciliation in the present and future.” 

In protest, church bells tolled throughout Serbia on Thursday. The Serbian Orthodox Church expressed its aspiration that the gesture would foster a sense of unity among Serbs, including “prayers, serenity, mutual solidarity, and a steadfast commitment to doing good” in the face of unfounded and unjust accusations at the United Nations. 

At the same time, Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik denied that a genocide had occurred in the Bosnian city and declared that his administration would not acknowledge the UN resolution. 

Dodik stated at a news conference in Srebrenica, “There was no genocide in Srebrenica.” 

Srebrenica, a UN-protected enclave at the time, was captured by Bosnian Serb forces on July 11, 1995, a few months before the conclusion of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s civil conflict. 

Bosnian Serb forces murdered approximately 8,000 Muslim men and adolescents in the days that followed, a crime that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice have classified as genocide. 

The event is regarded as the most severe solitary atrocity in Europe since World War II. 

The resolution condemns “any denial” of the genocide and urges UN member countries to “preserve the facts” in addition to establishing the memorial day. 

Germany and Rwanda characterized the vote as a “critical opportunity to unite in paying tribute to the victims and recognizing the critical role of international courts” in a letter to other UN members. 


Serbia and Bosnian Serb leaders have responded with fury. 

To alleviate tensions, the authors of the resolution incorporated Montenegro’s request that the genocide’s responsibility is “individualized and cannot be attributed to any ethnic, religious, or other group or community as a whole.” 

That needs to be more to satisfy Belgrade. 

In a letter sent to all UN delegations on Sunday, Serbian charge d’affaires Sasa Mart cautioned that discussing “historically sensitive topics serves only to deepen division and may bring additional instability to the Balkans.” 

Vasily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, characterized the resolution as “provocative” and a “threat to peace and security.” 

A UN Security Council resolution that condemned the “crime of genocide at Srebrenica” was previously vetoed by Moscow. 

Dodik, the president of Republika Srpska, the Serb entity in Bosnia where thousands of people staged a protest in April against the resolution, declared that the Srebrenica genocide was a “sham.” 

The European Union has responded with force, as foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano stated, “There can be no denial” and “anyone attempting to cast doubt has no place in Europe.”

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In their pursuit of peace, the UN debate is a critical moment for the relatives of the atrocity victims. 

Kada Hotic, the 79-year-old co-director of an association of Srebrenica mothers, stated, “Those who have driven their people into this position [of genocide denial] must acknowledge the truth for us to all find peace and continue with our lives.” In the course of the genocide, she suffered the loss of her husband, son, and two siblings. 

Denis Becirovic, the Bosniak member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, stated that the resolution is “of the utmost importance for the dissemination of the truth.” 

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