The Government respects the 2019 Montenegro Parliament's declaration on accepting the European Parliament's resolution that condemned the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica as well as all other war crimes committed during the conflicts in ex-Yugoslavia, Montenegrin Government said on Monday, days after one of its ministers questioned the legitimacy of the international courts that ruled the crimes in Srebrenica of 1995 was an act of genocide.
Montenegrin Justice, Human and Minority Rights Minister Vladimir Leposavic spoke before the Parliament last week and said he would recognise the genocide in Srebrenica once “it gets proven unequivocally,” which sparked reactions in the country and the region.
Leposavic said the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which ruled that genocide took place in Srebrenica, has “lost its legitimacy.” The ICTY's ruling from 2004 was later upheld by the International Court of Justice.
President of Montenegro was among the first ones who reacted, saying that: “As long as there are ideologies that deny the crimes committed, the danger of new suffering does not cease.”
The US Embassy in that country expressed concern over Leposavic's statements and called for the Government's reaction.
“The Government of Montenegro does not want and cannot change the international court decision nor call some nations genocidal and other sacred because that would go against the principle that every crime is individual and has its own perpetrators and, unfortunately, direct victims, and that individuals should always be held responsible for those crimes,” said the government led by PM Zdravko Krivokapic, adding that the reconciliation among the peoples and countries of the region remains its priority.
The leader of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church also reacted, stressing that the denial of the Srebrenica genocide is a crime itself.
“The graveyard to the victims of genocide in Srebrenica is a gruesome place that proves and warns the evil still exists among us and is awaiting its opportunity to appear in the most ruthless way,” said Metropolitan Mihailo.
“Denying this horrible crime would be a crime itself, no matter if the Government or its minister does it. If we don't condemn this then we are not who we are – humans,” he added.