A group asks intl envoy in Bosnia to take steps towards genocide denial ban

NEWS 16.04.2021 11:43
Source: N1

A group of citizens joined in a 'Working group for Bosnia and Herzegovina' addressed the international envoy, High Representative Valentin Inzko, warning about the “escalation of denial of genocide and glorification of war criminals in Republika Srpska,” Bosnia's Serb-majority entity.

Speaking to Fena news agency, a philosophy professor at the Southern Connecticut University David Pettigrew said the ‘Working group for BiH’ is trying to raise awareness and improve the diplomatic policy for priority topics including the NATO membership, accession to the European Union, and putting end to the denial of genocide and glorification of war criminals.

The group that consists of Bosnians-Herzegovinians and Americans of Bosnian origin has been formed to encourage the US leadership to restore the relationships with their European partners and NATO but also to put the stability of BiH and the region as the international community's top priority.

The group was formed as such to reach out to US President Joe Biden's Administration and to raise awareness of the aggression and genocide committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the period 1992-95.

So far, the group held two meetings with HR Inzko on the topic of denial of genocide and glorification of war criminals.

In a letter that the group has now sent to Inzko, the signatories expressed worries about the fact that five years after the first-instance verdict for Radovan Karadzic, wartime Bosnian Serb leader, “the culture of Republika Srpska is consumed with denial of genocide, glorification of war criminals and celebration of genocide and other war crimes.”

Signatories of the letter asked the High Representative, who holds special powers to impose laws and dismiss officials, to use those powers and “immediately take measures towards the suppression of the culture of hatred and provocation in the Republika Srpska entity.”

“Your action in this regard would be a crucial step in re-establishing the rule of law in post-genocide society and in protecting survivors from further intimidation and trauma,” said the letter.

The Office of the High Representative was established in 1995 as a body to oversee the civilian aspects of the Dayton Peace Agreements, the international document that ended the 1992-95 Bosnian war and contains the country's Constitution. The High Representative is also the final interpreter of the peace agreement.


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