Srebrenica initiative to award Igor Soltes with 'Potocari Charter'

Srebrenica initiative to award Igor Soltes with 'Potocari Charter'

Srebrenica initiative to award Igor Soltes with 'Potocari Charter' Izvor: Jure Makovec / AFP

The organisational board in charge of marking the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide unanimously decided, on Friday, to award Euro-Parliamentarian Igor Soltes with the Potocari Charter for his promotion of the truth and protection of the genocide victims.

"People like Soltes should be the champions of the idea of the European Union because only the truth and justice can ensure lasting peace in the country, the region and Europe," said the "Mothers of enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa," who are also in the organisational board.

The Charter will be awarded during this year's marking of the Genocide, on July 11.

Igor Soltes proposed the amendment to the Resolution, which the European Parliament adopted in 2018. It emphasised that Serbia's fundamental step on its path towards European integration is the recognition of the genocide in Srebrenica and the full acceptance and application of verdicts and decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), as well as its successor to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Courts (MICT).

In April 1993, the UN had declared the besieged enclave of the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica a safe area under UN protection.

However, in July 1995, the Dutch battalion soldiers failed to prevent the town's capture by the Bosnian Serb forces and the massacre that followed.

More than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were killed in the days following July 11, 1995, and so far the remains of more than 6,600 have been found and buried.

Two international courts, The International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), ruled that the massacre was an act of genocide.

International and regional courts have sentenced 45 people for what happened in Srebrenica to a total of more than 700 years behind bars.

The board also asked the international community's High Representative, in charge of overseeing the civilian implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, that ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, to finally impose the Law Against the Denial of Genocide, through the use of his special powers.

The institution of the High Representative has the so-called Bonn Powers which give every official serving as High Representative to issue decisions, impose laws and discipline politicians by dismissing them from function and barring them from political life in the country, for the sake of speeding up Bosnia's state-building process.

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