31 March 2010 – France 3 – Serb Parliament Public Apology for the Massacre of Srebrenica

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Excuses publiques du Parlement serbe pour le massacre de Srebrenica – FRENCH

Translation: 

TV journalist: Serbia is confronting its past. The Serb Parliament has, for the first time, officially condemned the 1995 Srebrenica massacre that left 8,000 dead. The survivors regret that the term ‘genocide’ hasn’t been used but the gesture is appreciated by Europe, which will now examine Serbia’s application.

Commentary: Portraits of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, commander of the Bosnian-Serb army, which perpetrated the massacre in 1995. The Serb far-right wants to stage a demonstration in front of the parliament.

Serb extremist: These war crimes were committed by individuals, not a nation. Individuals should be judged, not a nation.

Commentary: This not the opinion of the majority of the parliament. After 13 hours of debate, the Serb parliament voted a resolution condemning the Srebrenica massacre and presented its apologies to the families of the victims.

Nenead Canak: This is only the beginning. It’s just the tip of the iceberg of a past that we must confront as these war crimes are not a legacy we should leave to future generations.

Commentary: July 1995, as war raged in former Yugoslavia and the Serbs in Bosnia began ethnic cleansing of the Bosnian Muslims, Srebrenica was declared a safe area. The peacekeepers were there, as was General Ratko Mladic. After evacuating the women and children, the Serb militias massacred over 8,000 people. In 2004, this slaughter was found to constitute genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia. In Sarajevo, Bosnia, this belated recognition by the Serb state was deemed insufficient.

Woman: I’m disappointed. 15 years on, and the Serbs are still not calling a spade a spade. Genocide is far more than a crime.

Commentary: This is a major step for Serbia on its path to Europe, which is still waiting for Belgrade’s full cooperation regarding the arrest of Ratko Mladic.