Bosnian Serbs Leader Threatens Secession Amid UN Resolution on Srebrenica Massacre

On May 24, UN General Assembly will vote a resolution to establish a memorial day for the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre, where over 8,000 people were killed, reigniting tensions in the Balkans.

In July 1995, the town of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina became the scene of a massacre where over 8,000 Bosniaks, including civilians, were killed after Serb forces overran a UN-protected safe area. They subsequently separated Bosniak men and boys from their families and executed them, an act later declared genocide by the International Court of Justice in 2007.

Today May 23, Milorad Dodik, the president of Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Serb-majority entity), threatened to secede from Bosnia if the UN resolution is approved. While visiting Bratunac and Srebrenica, he denounced on X the perceived historical injustices Serb populations face, and argued that the international community and neighboring countries have ignored the suffering of 3,500 Serbs who were victims of crimes by Muslim forces.

During a press conference on that same day, he also asserted

“there was no genocide in Srebrenica”

and announced his refusal to accept the UN resolution, stating that if it were approved, it would not be included in the educational curriculum.

The draft resolution not only seeks to remember the victims but also condemns any denial of the genocide and the glorification of individuals convicted of war crimes, including Bosnian Serb wartime leaders Radovan Karadži? and Ratko Mladi?, both of whom were convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Sponsored by Germany and Rwanda, the resolution has garnered support from most Western states while facing opposition from Serbia, Russia, and China. The president of Serbia Aleksandar Vu?i? also joined Dodik in his refusal, aiming to create a lobbying campaign for a “no” vote among UN member states.

For a deeper explanation of Bosnia’s history and internal divisions, please read our dedicated article.

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