Serbia FM Dacic sees danger in Bosnia's UN suit revival
Feb. 18, 2017
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia's foreign minister on Saturday sharply criticized neighboring Bosnia's bid to revive a genocide suit against his country before the United Nations' top court, describing it as "very dangerous."
Sarajevo's move could cause tensions within Bosnia, jeopardize both regional stability and bilateral ties between Serbia and Bosnia, Ivica Dacic warned on Serbia's state TV.
Bakir Izetbegovic, Muslim Bosniak member of the county's tripartite presidency, announced Friday that Bosnia will ask the U.N. Court of Justice to reconsider its 2007 ruling that cleared Serbia of genocide during Bosnia's 1992-95 war.
Izetbegovic said the request will be submitted before Feb. 26, the deadline for appealing. The appeal will be initiated despite a lack of consent from his Croat and Serb counterparts in the presidency.
Bosnia sued neighboring Serbia before the International Court of Justice in 1993 over its political and military backing for the Bosnian Serbs' war effort.
The Netherlands-based court ruled that the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims by Bosnian Serbs in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica was genocide. It found Belgrade guilty of failing to prevent the slaughter, but not guilty of genocide.
Dacic said potential revival of the process would "cast a shadow" on efforts to improve ties between Serbia and Bosnia.
"This decision could cause destabilization of not only Bosnia-Herzegovina but the entire region," he said. "So, this is a very dangerous decision."
The Serb member of Bosnia's presidency, Mladen Ivanic, said the decision indicated that Bosniaks had "abandoned consensus decision-making," thus provoking a "serious" crisis.
"This is an attack on (Bosnian government) institutions," Ivanic told journalists on Saturday. "Situations such as this one can result in hostile (inter-ethnic) relations and possibly even a conflict."
The Srebrenica massacre was Europe's worst mass killing since World War II. Some 100,000 people died in the Bosnian war before it ended in a U.S.-brokered peace agreement that created a Muslim-Croat and a Serb entity.