The announcement of PM Aleksandar Vucic that he is willing to pay homage to the victims in Srebrenica is perceived in the region as a gesture towards reconciliation.
The NGO sector says that his statement has great weight on the road towards establishing good relations with neighboring countries, but also adds that the crime in Srebreica is something that must constantly be discussed, not just on the eve of the anniversary of the July 11th massacre.
The extended hand towards Bosnians, as PM Vucic describes his stance, is being carefully considered and interpreted in Sarajevo. The Bosnian member of the BiH presidency Bakir Izetbegovic stated for Al Jaziera that he is somewhat satisfied with Belgrade’s stance.
“Mr. Vucic displays readiness to improve relations between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbs and Bosnians and this is a good thing. Unfortunately, the most recent events with the arrest of Mr. Oric in Switzerland collide with those good intentions,” says Izetbegovic.
An exceedingly positive message comes from Vesna Pusic, the Minister of foreign affairs in Zagreb.
“Good statement, good approach. I welcome this stance,” stated Pusic in brief.
Milan Antonijevic, Director of YUCOM, says that he doesn’t see who in Bosnia and Herzegovina would be upset if PM Vucic were to go to Srebrenica on July 11th.
“I think the whole statement is calculated towards achieving reconciliation in the region and that will have certain effects, especially when you take into consideration all the previous actions concerning that question; which Serbain officials have went to Srebrenica in recent years and what messages were sent,” says Antonijevic.
The Humanitarian Law Center says that Srebrenica isn’t something that should be discussed every year only on the eve of July 11th.
“What Serbia lacks, and where Vucic could play a significant role, is the institutional process of facing up to the past; that Serbia’s institutions undertake practical steps in regards to the crimes committed in former Yugoslavia. This, above all, involves processing of war crime suspects, most notably those from the high and middle echelons of the military and police command structures,” says Marijana Toma.
So far the only official who opposes Vucic’s visit to Srebrenica is the president of the Srebrenica municipality Camil Durakovic, who said that Serbia’s PM won’t be welcome there unless the charges against Naser Oric, Srebrenica’s war time defense commander, are withdrawn.