Bosnia-Herzegovina: Serbian extremists are glorifying genocide and threatening to undermine peace deal – Angus Robertson MSP

Recent developments in Ukraine and Kazakhstan are causes for concern which have correctly been receiving much attention – less well covered, however, are events in the former Yugoslavia.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 12:30 pm
Republika Srpska leader Milorad Dodic, the Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, delivers a speech during a parade marking the Day of Republic Srpska (Picture: Elvis Barukcic/AFP via Getty Images)

In recent weeks, threats to Muslims in both Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have intensified, with fascists threatening to repeat the Srebrenica genocide.

Serbian extremists were filmed in the Muslim-majority town of Novi Pazar holding flares and singing songs promoting a Greater Serbia, while a video showed Serbian police in nearby Priboj glorifying genocide and war crimes.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, high-profile parades in recent days have marked the ‘national-day’ of the Republika Srbska, which had been banned by the national Constitutional Court because of its discrimination against Bosnian Muslims and Croats.

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The guest of honour was Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who is seeking to undermine the multi-national federation and promote an ethno-state based on the ethnic cleansing of the 1990s Bosnian war.

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According to media reports, the ceremonies were attended by the top officials from neighbouring Serbia and diplomats from Russia and China, along with officials from the French National Rally party of Marine Le Pen.

Dodik, who infamously described Bosnian Muslims as “second-rate people”, has repeatedly used race-baiting as a tactic. For the last decade, he has regularly sought to inflame racial tensions and deny the genocide that was perpetrated against Bosniaks.

Since the Dayton peace accords, Bosnia-Herzegovina has remained a frozen conflict. Unfortunately Serbian extremists are seeking to undermine the peace. The attention of Europe and the world should now return to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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