SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Bosnian Serb lawmakers voted out a resolution that described the 1995 Srebrenica massacre as a genocide on Wednesday, saying the motion was an attack on their community and would destabilize the country.
Bosnian Serb forces swept into a U.N.-designated “safe haven” toward the end of the Bosnian War and took 8,000 Muslim men and boys who were executed in the days that followed.
The U.N. tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague has ruled that the massacre — the worst mass killing on European soil since World War Two — constituted genocide, a term that the Bosnian Serbs still dispute and Serbia studiously avoids.
Bosnian Serb President Milorad Dodik said the resolution, proposed by Muslim Bosniak lawmakers to commemorate victims of Srebrenica and all other crimes committed during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, was directed against Serbs.
“It does not mark a step towards ethnic reconciliation but may rather further destabilize relations in the country,” he added.
The motion, which had been proposed than taken off the parliamentary agenda several times before Wednesday, came a day after Britain angered Serbs by saying it was drafting a resolution at the U.N. Security Council to mark next month’s 20th anniversary of the massacre.
Earlier this week, Dodik again disputed the number of Muslims killed in Srebrenica, prompting an association of the massacre survivors to file criminal charges against him on Wednesday on charges of inciting ethnic and religious hatred.
“I will keep telling that genocide was not committed there. It was a grave atrocity,” Dodik said.
Almost 20 years after the war ended, Bosnia remains a fragile state reliant on external aid, its economy hobbled by a complex and unwieldy power-sharing system and tensions between its two constituent regions.
Reporting by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Daria Sito-Sucic and Andrew Heavens