Serbian PM to visit Srebrenica

Visit would be Vucic's first to Srebrenica since July 11, when crowd at memorial ceremony of the genocide began hurling stones and bottles

Serbian PM to visit Srebrenica

World Bulletin / News Desk

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic is to visitSrebrenica after being chased by a stone-throwing mob in July from a ceremony marking 20 years since the massacre in the Bosnian town, officials said Tuesday.

Vucic, a former ultra-nationalist turned pro-European, was to attend an economic conference in the eastern Bosnian town on Wednesday and pay respect to the victims at the massacre's memorial centre, the mayor's office said.

The visit would be Vucic's first to Srebrenica since July 11, when the crowd at the memorial ceremony started chanting "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest) and began hurling stones and bottles.

The premier was forced to run for cover, shielded by his bodyguards. Vucic said later that a stone hit him in the mouth but he was unhurt.

During this week's two-day economic conferenceSrebrenica authorities plan to present investment opportunities in the town, whose name is synonymous with the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.

Some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in July 1995, near the end of Bosnia's 1992-1995 war, by Bosnian Serb forces after they captured Srebrenica. International justice termed the atrocity a genocide. 

Once the most prosperous Bosnian town, Srebrenica now has some 7,000 inhabitants compared with 37,000 before the conflict.

"We do not want to construct a new Srebrenica but to speak about what it was before the war and what can be done today in order to improve the living standard here," mayor Camil Durakovic said as he announced the conference recently.

During a visit to Sarajevo earlier this month Vucic called for improved ties between Serbs and Muslims, saying this was "crucial" for the stability in the volatile Balkans. He also announced that Serbiawould invest in development projects in Srebrenica.

Bosnia's 1992-1995 war between Croats, Muslims and Serbs claimed some 100,000 lives.

The conflict left the country split into two semi-independent entities -- the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serbs' Republika SrpskaSrebrenicaremained in Republika Srpska.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Kasım 2015, 16:37