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UN Approves Resolution to Commemorate Srebrenica Genocide, Despite Serbian Opposition

The United Nations has passed a resolution to designate July 11 as the International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica. The resolution aims to establish an annual day of remembrance for the more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys who were massacred almost 30 years ago in what has been ruled an act of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The resolution, which was sponsored by Germany and Rwanda with support from the United States, France, Britain, and Italy, faced strong opposition from Serbian leaders, including President Aleksandar Vucic and the government of Republika Srpska. Despite their lobbying efforts to block the resolution, 84 countries voted in favor, with 19 against and 68 abstentions.

The resolution condemns any denial of the Srebrenica genocide as a historical event and actions that glorify those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. German Ambassador to the UN Antje Leendertse emphasized that the initiative aims to honor the memory of the victims and support the survivors as they continue to live with the trauma of the genocide.

The passage of the resolution was met with mixed reactions, with families of the victims expressing gratitude for the recognition while Serbian leaders criticized the resolution as painting Serbia as a “genocidal nation.” President Vucic and the Republika Srpska leadership warned of potential consequences and reiterated threats of secession.

Experts on the region suggest that Serbia’s denial of the genocide at Srebrenica fuels nationalism and extremism in the country. They argue that acknowledging the historical events and commemorating the victims is essential for reconciliation and peace in the Western Balkans.

As the international community marks the International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica, the resolution serves as a reminder of the importance of confronting history and promoting peace and understanding in the region.

 

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