Aggressive rhetoric that calls for violence is unacceptable, the international official overseeing the implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement said in a reaction to a statement a former Bosnian Army General made, implying that the next war will occur much sooner than thought.
Naser Oric, the wartime commander of Srebrenica, spoke during a promotion of a book about his eastern Bosnian enclave, where in 1995 more than 8,000 of his fellow citizens were systematically executed by Bosnian Serb forces. The massacre was defined by two international court as an act of genocide.
“When they were telling me, I thought there will never be war… But, the next war will happen a bit earlier than we thought,” he said, quoting a post-war poem by Serbian nationalist writer many Bosniaks interpret as a new threat against them.
“As Matija Beckovic, their own, Serbian academic, said: ‘We shall pursue. Anything can happen except us not pursuing and it has never happened that those who pursued have not succeeded, we shall pursue’,” Oric quoted Beckovic.
The Office of the High Representative (OHR), as well as the US Embassy in Bosnia condemned the statement.
“Aggressive rhetoric, whoever it may come from, that calls for violence and dark images of the war, is completely unacceptable,” the office of Austrian diplomat Valentin Inzko said.
“The High Representative is strongly condemning statements made by any public person that does not serve reconciliation and dialogue,” it said.
“High-level officials and members of ruling parties bear special responsibility for their statements,” the statement said.
A few days earlier, Inzko condemned a tweet made by a top official of the ruling Bosnian Serb Independent Social Democratic Party of Milorad Dodik.
During Wednesday’s anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, Rajko Vasic’s Tweet appeared to have threatened with another genocide.
According to the Bosnian Serb news agency, SRNA, the US Embassy to Bosnia said that it was difficult to achieve peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that statements mentioning and alluding to war were dangerous, irresponsible and unacceptable.