UN creates Srebrenica genocide memorial day

The U.N. General Assembly voted Thursday to establish an annual day of remembrance for the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, despite furious opposition from Bosnian Serbs and Serbia.

The resolution written by Germany and Rwanda — countries synonymous with genocide in the 20th century — received 84 votes in favor, 19 against with 68 abstentions and makes July 11 "International Day of Remembrance of the Srebrenica Genocide."

"This resolution seeks to foster reconciliation, in the present and for the future," said Germany's ambassador to the U.N. Antje Leendertse.

Ahead of the vote, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic warned the General Assembly that the move "will just open old wounds and that will create a complete political havoc."

But he said he did not deny the killings at Srebrenica, adding that he bowed his "head to all the victims of the conflict in Bosnia."

Following the vote, Vucic draped himself with his country's flag, before saying those behind the vote "wanted to stigmatize Serbian people — they did not succeed."

Church bells rang out across Serbia on Thursday in protest. The Serbian Orthodox Church said it hoped the gesture would unite Serbs in "prayers, serenity, mutual solidarity and firmness in doing good, despite untrue and unjust accusations it faces at the U.N.."

Except Serbia, all of the former Yugoslav republics voted for the resolution.

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, meanwhile, denied a genocide had even taken place in the Bosnian city and said that his administration would not recognize the U.N. resolution.

Bosnian Serb forces captured Srebrenica — a U.N.-protected enclave at the time — on July 11, 1995, a few months before the end of Bosnia's civil war, which saw approximately 100,000...

Continue reading on: