BiH Presidency Members Divided Following Publication of ‘Genocide Papers’

After the Croat member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency praised the ‘Genocide Papers’, a collection of transcripts from sessions in the parliament of the Republika Srpska entity during the war, the Serb member of Bosnia’s presidency and its current Chair accused him of “comparing Serbs to Nazis.” 

The Srebrenica Memorial Centre gathered young experts, including researchers, proofreaders, designers, and IT experts, to create new-age generation tools, which would help in the research of crucial segments of the history of the Bosnian genocide. Among them is the ‘Genocide papers’ a compilation of searchable files and transcripts of sessions of the Assembly of the Serb People in BiH/National Assembly of Republika Srpska. 

Some of the transcripts include the speeches of wartime Bosnian Serb leader and convicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic, politicians Momcilo Krajisnik, Manojlo Milovanovic, as well as current Serb Presidency member, Milorad Dodik. 

The Bosniak member of the Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic, praised the work of the Memorial Centre, calling it a serious institution that maintains the memory of the genocide victims. 

“The Memorial Center is well on its way to becoming one of the most respectable institutions of its kind in the world. This is also a debt to the victims of genocide. I thank the Memorial Center for taking such steps”, he said. 

The battle for the truth and justice continues, and the publication of the Genocide Papers shows this, he said. 

His Bosnian Croat colleague in the Presidency, Zeljko Komsic, said he was “appalled by the details” in the notes of the discussions in the RS Assembly during the war. 

“These are, more or less, public data and information that you can find, but they have never been collected, researched and presented to the public in this way, as the team of the Srebrenica Memorial Center did”, he said. 

Komsic stressed that the statements in the transcripts “indicate that the RS National Assembly was one of the tools of the genocide, as well as hate speech targeting all non-Serbs” at the time. 

“The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has always investigated command and individual responsibility. On the other hand, it didn’t do what was done in the Nuremberg Trials – it didn’t establish the existence of criminal organizations – where membership in an organization automatically made you guilty”, he said. 

“This is exactly what was missing in the case of the RS National Assembly, whose members supported genocide with their votes, who passed laws and decisions that were a guideline for the policies and actions of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic”, he said. 

Komsic argued that what must be done in light of the transcripts is – the imposition of a law banning genocide denial, adoption of a law that will establish a special status of the Srebrenica local government unit and adoption of a legal framework that would prevent those who participated in making decisions on human rights violations, genocide and war crimes from holding public office. 

Komsic’s statements, however, were not well received by the Serb member of the Presidency and its current Chairman, Milorad Dodik. 

He said Komsic was abusing the transcripts to further his agenda as a “reserve Bosniak Presidency member” and to “compare Serbs with the Nazis, impose collective guilt on them for individual crimes, demand a change in the Constitution on the issue of Srebrenica, and still deprive us of the right to speak.”

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