An MP in Bosnia’s House of Peoples, Denis Becirovic, urged state institutions on Wednesday to declare Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin persona non grata because his ministry organised an event for promoting the controversial book ‘Tuzla Kapija - a staged tragedy’, which says that Bosniaks staged a 1995 massacre in which 71 people were killed.
“Such a shameful act by Serbia’s top official definitely shows that Serbia and its highest government bodies continue the systematic denial of war crimes and defend convicted war criminals,” said Becirovic, from the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
On May 25, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces fired a shell on the Kapija neighbourhood in Tuzla, killing 71 and wounding more than 200.
Bosnia’s State Court sentenced in 2014 former Bosnian Serb general Novak Djukic for the massacre to 20 years in prison, but he fled to Serbia. He has still not been extradited.
According to author Ilija Brankovic, who promoted his new book on Tuesday in Belgrade, the massacre was staged by Bosniaks in order to blame the Serbs.
“It is due time for Serbia to stop its inappropriate, inconsiderate and ill-mannered campaign against the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the victims of genocide and war crimes,” Becirovic said, adding that the “followers” of former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic “have still not determined the responsibility of numerous military and police units from Serbia” who were involved in the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.
“The destructive policies of Serbian ministers are taking place with the full approval of Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic,” Becirovic said.
He added that such policies are based on a number of factors - “not facing the criminal past of the regime of Slobodan Milosevic, establishing and maintaining a wartime ideological structure which is hostile toward the West, NATO and the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, internal autocratic rule which is best seen in the control over the media, the unprincipled political support to Serbs outside of Serbia by creating crisis in other regional countries.”
“Such a destructive policy by Vucic can only cause continuous instability and new conflicts in the region and Europe,” Becirovic concluded.