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BOSNIA: Serb Set to Oust Bosniak as Srebrenica Mayor

Bosnia’s local elections delivered a surprise in Srebrenica, where a Serb is expected to replace a Bosniak as mayor for the first time since the 1995 massacres, if confirmed by final results.

Article published by www.balkaninsight.com on 3 October 2016

BIRN staff, Ajla Gezo BIRN Sarajevo

di Emanuele G. - giovedì 6 ottobre 2016 - 2291 letture

Mladen Grujicic, the candidate who was backed by all the Serb parties, is likely to become the new mayor of the eastern town of Srebrenica, which saw more than 7,000 of its Bosniak residents massacred by Serb forces in 1995 and has remained a political flashpoint ever since.

With 77 per cent of votes counted on Monday morning, Grujicic was in the lead with 67 per cent of the vote, ahead of current mayor Camil Durakovic on 31 per cent.

Grujicic’s supporters celebrated their win on the streets and at a café in Srebrenica on Sunday evening, chanting “Serbia” and “Victory”, regional TV station N1 reported.

Since the July 1995 massacres, which have been defined as genocide by the UN war crimes court in The Hague, Srebrenica has had a Bosniak-led local authority.

Current major Durakovic told regional TV N1 on Monday morning that he was still waiting for results from members of the Bosnian diaspora who voted abroad to come in.

“It is not clear why Grujicic’s election headquarters declared victory and announced that it had happened, because we have a solid vote. And citizens know that things can change and we will wait for more,” said Durakovic.

But Bosniak survivors of the 1995 massacres expressed discontent about the possibility of Grujicic becoming mayor.

“Even if Grujcic wins, he will never be my mayor,” Munira Subasic, the president of the Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves association, told BIRN.

“He can never be that because he denies the crime of genocide. He denies the killing of children. His entire campaign has been based on nationalist rhetoric and denial,” Subasic said.

Grujicic is the president of a Bosnian Serb victims’ group called the Organisation of Families of the Captured, Killed Fighters and Missing Civilians of Srebrenica

But he said on Sunday evening that he respects all victims of war and insisted that Serbs and Bosniaks can live in peace in Srebrenica.

“Serbs and Bosiaks respect each other extraordinarily and they look to the future together,” Grujicic told N1.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said meanwhile that the new leadership in Srebrenica should continue to commemorate the crimes committed by Serb forces.

“The crime happened and the fact that a Serb will run the municipal administration does not mean that we in Serbia will forget what happened in the war,” Nikolic told journalists.

“We have recognised the sins committed by members of our people, admitted and mourned them, and we won’t forget, because one must not forget the bad things that have been done,” he added.

News 03 Oct 16 Serb Set to Oust Bosniak as Srebrenica Mayor

Bosnia’s local elections delivered a surprise in Srebrenica, where a Serb is expected to replace a Bosniak as mayor for the first time since the 1995 massacres, if confirmed by final results. BIRN staff, Ajla Gezo BIRN Sarajevo Mladen Grujicic. Photo: Anadolu.

Mladen Grujicic, the candidate who was backed by all the Serb parties, is likely to become the new mayor of the eastern town of Srebrenica, which saw more than 7,000 of its Bosniak residents massacred by Serb forces in 1995 and has remained a political flashpoint ever since.

With 77 per cent of votes counted on Monday morning, Grujicic was in the lead with 67 per cent of the vote, ahead of current mayor Camil Durakovic on 31 per cent.

Grujicic’s supporters celebrated their win on the streets and at a café in Srebrenica on Sunday evening, chanting “Serbia” and “Victory”, regional TV station N1 reported.

Since the July 1995 massacres, which have been defined as genocide by the UN war crimes court in The Hague, Srebrenica has had a Bosniak-led local authority.

Current major Durakovic told regional TV N1 on Monday morning that he was still waiting for results from members of the Bosnian diaspora who voted abroad to come in.

“It is not clear why Grujicic’s election headquarters declared victory and announced that it had happened, because we have a solid vote. And citizens know that things can change and we will wait for more,” said Durakovic.

But Bosniak survivors of the 1995 massacres expressed discontent about the possibility of Grujicic becoming mayor.

“Even if Grujcic wins, he will never be my mayor,” Munira Subasic, the president of the Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves association, told BIRN.

“He can never be that because he denies the crime of genocide. He denies the killing of children. His entire campaign has been based on nationalist rhetoric and denial,” Subasic said.

Grujicic is the president of a Bosnian Serb victims’ group called the Organisation of Families of the Captured, Killed Fighters and Missing Civilians of Srebrenica

But he said on Sunday evening that he respects all victims of war and insisted that Serbs and Bosniaks can live in peace in Srebrenica.

“Serbs and Bosiaks respect each other extraordinarily and they look to the future together,” Grujicic told N1.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said meanwhile that the new leadership in Srebrenica should continue to commemorate the crimes committed by Serb forces.

“The crime happened and the fact that a Serb will run the municipal administration does not mean that we in Serbia will forget what happened in the war,” Nikolic told journalists.

“We have recognised the sins committed by members of our people, admitted and mourned them, and we won’t forget, because one must not forget the bad things that have been done,” he added. Talk about it!

Tags Balkans Bosnia and Herzegovina Srebrenica

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CREDITS: The cover photo is taken from original article (Photo: Anadolu)


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