Kosovo passes resolution condemning the 1995 Srebrenica massacre
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) – Kosovo’s parliament on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the massacre of thousands of Bosnian men and boys in Srebrenica by Bosnian Serb troops in 1995, which was called genocide by a Nations tribunal United for War Crimes.
The resolution, initiated by the Vakat coalition of parties representing the Bosnian minority in Kosovo, was approved by 89 lawmakers in the 120 seats in parliament. None voted against.
The Kosovo Serb ethnic minority Srpska Lista party boycotted the debate on the resolution and did not take part in the vote. They refused to speak to reporters when leaving Parliament.
On July 11, 1995, the UN-designated “safe haven” of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina fell into the hands of Bosnian Serb forces, who subsequently killed more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
The wartime Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic and former political leader Radovan Karadzic were later sentenced to life in prison by the United Nations war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands for genocide in Srebrenica.
Bahri Shabani of the Vakat coalition said the resolution would help victims of the massacre achieve justice.
“This would not only help the victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina but also the victims in Kosovo to remember,” he said. “Such a resolution and the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial Day are a lesson for future generations and a reconciliation effort for nations. “
Kosovo Prime Minister Abin Kurti said Parliament’s official condemnation of the genocide “must be clear so that it does not happen again”.
The Kosovo war of 1998-1999 followed that of Bosnia during the violent break-up of the former Yugoslavia and claimed more than 10,000 lives, mostly ethnic Albanians. More than 1,600 are still missing.
Kosovo was then a Serbian province. The fighting ended after a NATO military intervention forced Serbia to withdraw its forces. The United Nations ruled the territory for nine years before Kosovo declared independence in 2008, a move Serbia does not recognize.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has not recognized Kosovo either.
The resolution could further complicate the difficult relations between Kosovo and Serbia. Since 2011, Belgrade and Pristina have been engaged intermittently in negotiations negotiated by the European Union to settle their dispute, which remains a source of tension in the unstable Balkans.
Semini reported from Tirana, Albania.
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Sylejman Kllokoqi and Llazar Semini, Associated Press