Various groups in Bosnia have reacted to Thursday’s ruling by the UN war crimes tribunal in the Hague that found two Bosnian Serbs guilty of committing genocide and five others guilty of a variety of war crimes for their role in the killings in Srebrenica.
Kada Hotic from Srebernica told media that she is “more or less” satisfied with the verdict, but that she can only find final peace when Ratko Mladic is in The Hague.
“I hope he will be there soon and finally, it will be over,” Hotic told media in Bosnia.
Ratko Mladic led Bosnian Serb Army forces in July 1995 when they entered Srebrenica, killing more than 8,000 and forcefully deporting about 25.000. He was indicted by the ICTY in 1995, but remains in hiding. He is believed to be in Serbia.
The ICTY rendered on June 10 a first-instance verdict that found Vujadin Popovic and Ljubisa Beara guilty of genocide and sentenced them to life imprisonment. By the same decision, Drago Nikolic was found guilty for aiding and abetting genocide and sentenced to 35 years in prison, while Ljubomir Borovcanin was found guilty for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity and sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment.
Vinko Pandurevic, Radivoje Miletic, and Milan Gvero were found guilty for crimes against humanity and given sentences of 13, 19, and five years’ imprisonment, respectively.
All seven were high ranking military and police officials in Republika Srpska during the war in Bosnia.
Hotic explained that she was not satisfied with all parts of the verdict.
“I am not happy with the decision for Borovcanin. He got only 17 years after all that he did… I think that we, the mothers of those killed in Srebrenica, should be the one to judge them in the end,” Hotic said.
However, the news agency of Republika Srpska, SRNA, quoted Nedeljko Mitrovic, the president of the RS organisation of families of captured and killed soldiers and missing civilians, as saying that the verdict only confirmed the Hague tribunal’s policy against Serbs.
According to Mitrovic, the Hague tribunal is a political court which renders such verdicts to the detriment of the Serb people and is influenced by the global powers.
The president of an RS war veterans’ association, Pantelija Curguz, called the verdict shocking, unprofessional and irresponsible.
Curguz believes it is “clear that there is increasing evidence which confirms the fabrication of the story on Srebrenica in order to label the Serb people in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. He added that representatives of RS institutions and NGOs that deal with missing persons will do their utmost to convince the world of the real truth about the events in Srebrenica.