Montenegro's parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution on recognizing the genocide in Srebrenica and dismissed the country's justice minister over his controversial remarks on the 1995 genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
According to the resolution, Montenegro declares July 11 a day of mourning and remembrance for the victims of the 1995 genocide of over 8,000 Muslim men and boys, and the parliament will condemn any public denial of the genocide.
The resolution passed with 55 votes in favor, 19 against and six abstaining.
The parliament also voted to dismiss Minister of Justice, Human and Minority Rights Vladimir Leposavic over his recent controversial statements in which he questioned whether the Srebrenica genocide took place.
Leposavic said that he is ready to recognize that a genocide was committed in Srebrenica "when it gets proven unequivocally."
He argued that the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which ruled that the 1995 genocide took place, has “lost its legitimacy.”
On Wednesday, he said that he never denied the Srebrenica genocide and that the accusation is the result of a “campaign of lies.”
He was dismissed with 43 votes in favor, 27 against and 10 MPs abstaining.
Bosnia welcomes resolution
Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic welcomed Montenegro's decision.
The resolution is a "historic step" for Montenegro, Turkovic on Twitter.
"Also a major step towards reconciliation, regional stability and a strong impetus for the fight for truth and justice. I congratulate the people and the authorities of Montenegro on this just and responsible act," he also said.
More than 8,300 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed after Bosnian Serb forces attacked the UN "safe area" of Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch troops tasked with acting as international peacekeepers.
Srebrenica was besieged by Serb forces who were trying to wrest territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to form a state.
The UN Security Council declared Srebrenica a "safe area" in the spring of 1993. However, Serb troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic, who was later found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, overran the UN zone.
Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing 2,000 men and boys on July 11.
About 15,000 Srebrenicans fled to the surrounding mountains, but Serb troops hunted down and killed 6,000 in the forests.