Response to the Srebrenica Resolution: Genocide Denial and Hate Speech

Odgovor zvaničnika RS na Rezoluciju o Srebrenici u UN-u: Negiranje genocida i govor mržnje

Response to the Srebrenica Resolution: Genocide Denial and Hate Speech

The National Assembly of RS adopted conclusions that deny genocide.

photo: Milorad Dodik / X

Denying the genocide in Srebrenica, relativizing war crimes, using insulting messages and hate speech are the messages that have been coming from the Bosnian entity Republika Srpska (RS) for the past few days.

The announcement that the draft Resolution on the genocide committed in Srebrenica will be on the agenda of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on May 2, was followed by statements coming from the RS by officials of that entity denying that the genocide took place.

Yesterday, the National Assembly of Republika Srpska (RSRS) unanimously adopted the Final Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiring on the Sufferings of All Peoples in the Srebrenica Region between 1992 to 1995, which was formed by the Government of RS, including 12 conclusions stating that the term genocide is incorrect and cannot be accepted.

A rally "Srpska Calls You" was held at Trg Krajine in Banja Luka, where several thousand people from RS and Serbia gathered. Photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as Ratko Mladić, who was convicted of genocide in Srebrenica, could be seen at the rally.

The President of RS, Milorad Dodik, has repeatedly denied the genocide in Srebrenica in recent days.

"It was a crime at the end of the war after fatigue, hatred and suffering, revenge, but it was not genocide," said Dodik at a rally held yesterday in Banja Luka. 

In the same place, the president of the NPS party, Darko Banjac, also gave a speech. He denied the genocide in Srebrenica and called the ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to the UN, Zlatko Lagumdžija, a "Big Muslim", called the European Union (EU) a "fag," insulted the LGBTI community, and glorified Russia's attack on Ukraine. He said he was sorry that "Russia's special operation" did not extend to other Nazis and fascists, alluding to Germany, which supported the Resolution on the genocide committed in Srebrenica.

The NSRS adopted a report denying genocide

In the conclusions adopted by the NSRS yesterday in connection with the report, it was stated that they permanently reject the term genocide "bearing in mind that the minimum number of members of Muslim forces, prisoners of war, captured and executed is between 1,500 and 2,000, and the maximum number is up to 3,000". 

The International Court in The Hague found that Bosnian Serb forces executed between seven and eight thousand captured Bosnian men and boys in Srebrenica in July 1995, that the killings were the result of a well-planned and coordinated operation and that they were carried out with genocidal intent. 

"You are trying to impose by force to say that it happened, but it didn't (...) The Serbian people did not commit genocide. I feel sorry for all the Muslim victims, but you are very mistaken. You are creating a rift between us," said Dodik at the NSRS session.

During his speech before the NSRS parliamentarians, he made a number of unfounded claims and downplayed the number of those killed in Srebrenica.

The MPs who spoke before the NSRS, such as MPs from the PDP, SDS, Lista za pravdu i red (List for Justice and Order), before the report was adopted, expressed their respect for all the victims, but in their presentation, they mostly talked about the suffering of the Serbs and stated that they do not agree to being called a "genocidal nation".

Srđan Mazalica from the SNSD said that the "genocide qualification" "was not the fruit of the Bosniak public, but that it was born in the circles of Western embassies that wanted to wash themselves and their country".

Nebojša Vukanović, an MP from the List for Justice and Order, said at the session that "what happened in Srebrenica was a terrible crime", and Petko Rankić, a member of the Socialist Party, said that "it was not genocide, but it was a crime".

Genocide denial is a criminal offense

The president of the commission that presented the report, Gideon Greif, said recently on the Tanjug television show that "the terrible crime that happened in Srebrenica in the summer of 1995 cannot be qualified as genocide in any way“. He also said that “the adoption of the Resolution on Srebrenica in the UN will not bring anyone anything good.”

"The genocide in Srebrenica did not happen, and if it had happened, this topic would not have been imposed this much," said Dodik in a statement from April 15, which followed after he announced the "Srpska Calls You" rally.

After the announcement of the rally, Dodik again denied genocide on April 16, saying that "in order for someone to commit genocide, there must be an intention to biologically destroy an ethnic group. And that did not happen in Srebrenica".

In a separate statement from April 16, Banja Luka Mayor Draško Stanivuković, announcing his arrival at the "Srpska Calls You" rally, said that "genocide did not happen in Srebrenica". "We are not the people they want to mark and label us as," Stanivuković said.

The Hague Tribunal, the Court of BiH, courts in Serbia and Croatia have so far sentenced a total of 54 people to five life sentences and 781 years in prison for genocide, crimes against humanity and other crimes in Srebrenica during July 1995, Detektor states in its analyses. 

According to the amendments to the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina imposed by the High Representative Valentin Inzko in 2021, it is banned in Bosnia and Herzegovina to justify, minimize the crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in a way that could incite violence or hatred directed against a certain group of people.

Denial of a crime is any attempt to claim that a crime did not occur, to deny factually established events or to dispute the intent of committing a crime, and this criminal offense is punishable by imprisonment for a term between six months and five years.

The biggest denier of the genocide in Srebrenica, according to the Srebrenica Memorial Centre’s research from last year, was Milorad Dodik, who in 2023 denied the genocide as many as 11 times in different ways. 

What is contained in the Resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica

Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Denis Bećirović and member of the Presidency of BiH Željko Komšić have been staying at the UN headquarters in New York since April 17 regarding the UN General Assembly's draft Resolution on the genocide committed in Srebrenica, which was supported by the United States of America (USA), Italy, France, Germany, Albania, Chile, Finland, Ireland, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Rwanda, Slovenia, Turkey and North Macedonia.

If the resolution is adopted, July 11 will become the International Day of Remembrance of the Genocide in Srebrenica.

In the conclusions of the Resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica, which was written about by Klix, it is stated, among other things, that it condemns without reservation any denial of the Srebrenica Genocide and actions that glorify those convicted of war crimes. It urges member states to preserve the established historical facts and educate future generations in order to prevent revisionism and future genocides.


This article is made with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Mediacentar and the Reporting Diversity Network and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.