A UNITED NATIONS motion which would have officially recognised the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, Bosnia, as a genocide has been vetoed by Russia.
Twenty years after the worst massacre in Europe since the Second World War, the move by the UN was supposed to pay fitting respect to the 8,000 dead, who were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb soldiers at a refugee camp.
The motion said that “acceptance of the tragic events at Srebrenica as genocide is a prerequisite for reconciliation.”
But Serbia, who backed Bosnian Serb forces in the conflict against the mostly Muslim Bosnian government in the bloody war (when Yugoslavia broke up into different states), objects to the use of the term.
Russia is allied with Serbia and used its veto to block the motion, calling it “confrontational and politically motivated” and arguing that the wording should be changed to describe the massacre as “the most serious crime of concern to the international community.”
The motion would have been largely symbolic, as a number of people have already been convicted of genocide at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, including General Radislav Krstic, who lead the assault on Srebrenica and was the first person since the Nuremburg Trials to be convicted of genocide by an international court.