Life imprisonment in Mladic, but for the Bosnian Serbs the Srebrenica executioner is a hero. After 25 years, the conflict is still alive

Life imprisonment in Mladic, but for the Bosnian Serbs the Srebrenica executioner is a hero. After 25 years, the conflict is still alive
Life imprisonment in Mladic, but for the Bosnian Serbs the Srebrenica executioner is a hero. After 25 years, the conflict is still alive

“We do not recognize the decisions of theaja. You are the pride of Republic everything“. It’s the red writing on a banner (on) hanging on the flyover of Banja Luka, capital de facto of the Republic of Serbia of Bosnia, an entity that, together with the Croatian-Muslim Federation, makes up the country. The recipient of the heartfelt message is Ratko Mladic, the war criminal responsible for the genocide of Srebrenica, sentenced to life imprisonment by the Hague Tribunal.

Always the Banja Luka, not far from that banner, in the central square of the town, between outdoor tables and people walking, you can see from last night a graffiti that simply shows the name of the commander, next to the representation of a cross made up of four inverted C’s, symbol of the nationalism serbo. And, again, the harsh features of the general who in 1995 planned the extermination of thousands of Muslims in the protected enclave of Srebrenica to end a war that he knew was lost, they appeared on a flag displayed in the old city of Trebinje, another Bosnian citizen with a Serb majority. These were not isolated manifestations.

In stark contrast to the federation’s position Croatian-Muslim, who was awaiting confirmation of the life sentence for the ‘Executioner of Srebrenica’, throughout the Republic of Serbia scenes of exaltation have been repeated for what is considered a hero. But among the Bosnian Serbs the reaction was certainly not univocal. The philosophy professor of Banja Luka and columnist Dragan Bursac commented on the banner that appeared in his city praising Mladic on social networks, explaining that similar gestures are nothing but “the heritage of genocide. The Pampers-General (so called since, during the first interrogation, he was seized by a bout of diarrhea) he sowed evil in the Bosnia Herzegovina born from genocide. I am afraid that without a prohibition of the denial of genocide and of crimes, without a legal prohibition, this seed of evil will flourish. I am afraid that the children of the Republic of Serbia will feed the criminal traditions of Ratko Mladic“.

In the aftermath of a sentence that should have unleashed at least one of the many knots bequeathed by the war, the Bosnia Herzegovina in this way it gives back to itself the image of a country which, more than 25 years after the end of the conflict, struggles to abandon its lacerations to the past. Bad claims that continue to poison the path of recovery go far beyond his own borders. And they actually compromise the well-being of an entire geopolitical area.

Also in Croatia, for example, the condemnation it has turned into an opportunity to get back on unsolved accounts. In addition to the satisfaction with the verdict, Zagreb in fact, he underlined his regret for the fact that Mladic has not even been convicted of the crimes in Croatia, where in 1991, still with the rank of colonel in the Yugoslav army, his “blood march” began. While in Kosovo, the management of Pristina confirmed his willingness to denounce the Serbia for genocide before international justice, proving once more that the chapter is far from closed. “There Serbia, under the guidance of Slobodan Milosevic, as well as in Bosnia, also committed genocide in Kosovo – said the Kosovar minister of justice Aljbuljena Hadju -. The crimes committed in these two countries were not individual but we believe that they were planned and ordered by the Serbian state itself ”.

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