Muslims fear Serb win in Srebrenica vote will complete genocide
Muslims from Srebrenica, the site of Europe's worst atrocity since World War II, fear a Bosnian Serb win in Sunday's local polls would represent "the final step of a genocide", AFP reports.
Bosnian Serb forces summarily executed some 8,000 Muslim men and boys after they captured the eastern town in July 1995. Two international courts have ruled the massacre a genocide.
For almost 17 years, Srebrenica Muslims who lived elsewhere after fleeing the 1992-95 Bosnian war were allowed to vote in local elections, ensuring the town had a Muslim mayor.
But this year, they have been stripped of that right after complex local voting laws were reformed, prompting fears that Serbs who have a slight majority in the town can now vote in their candidate.
A Serb win "would be quite simply the final step of a genocide, an ethnic cleansing" of Srebrenica, warned Kada Hotic, member of an organisation of Srebrenica mothers who lost her husband and a son in the massacre.
"Everything will be in danger, the existence of the Muslims who returned to Srebrenica, our memorial centre. We could even see a Serb mayor banning the yearly genocide commemoration," she said, explaining it is the mayor who needs to clear permits for the event.
The remaining Muslims were expelled and most of them never returned to Srebrenica, which is now in the Serb-dominated part of the Balkan country.
Returnee Hatidza Mehmedovic, who lost her husband and two sons in the genocide, said she feels the new rules unfairly reward Serb wartime brutality.
For more information see: http://en.tengrinews.kz/politics_sub/Muslims-fear-Serb-win-in-Srebrenica...
Use of the Tengrinews English materials must be accompanied by a hyperlink to en.Tengrinews.kz (continue reading...)