Bosnian Serbs to Rally for Ratko Mladic
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The demonstration entitled ‘Support for General Ratko Mladic – Stop the Lies about Srebrenica’ will be held in Banja Luka, the main town in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska, on July 11, the same day as the annual genocide commemoration in Srebrenica itself.
The rally is being staged by an organisation called Serbian Assembly Zavetnici, which said it wanted to mark “the liberation of Srebrenica” by Bosnian Serb forces led by Mladic.
“We want to present the truth about Srebrenica and the murder of Serb victims before the Bosnian Serb Army and Mladic entered the town. Besides that, we shall point out the manipulation of the number of Srebrenica victims,” said one of the organisers, Srdjan Vukojevic.
Vukojevic claimed that Srebrenica has become “a political project which has served as an instrument for putting constant pressure on Banja Luka for years with the aim of imposing collective guilt on Serbs”.
He said he expected around 300 people to join the rally.
The spokesperson for the police administration in Banja Luka, Marija Markanovic, said that a request to hold the gathering in the centre of the town on July 11 had been approved.
More than 70 victims of the July 1995 genocide, when over 7,000 men and boys were killed and more than 40,000 women, children and elderly people were expelled, will be buried at the annual ceremony at the Srebrenica memorial site on July 11.
Ratko Mladic is currently on trial in The Hague for genocide and other crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the first-instance verdict expected in November.
So far the Hague Tribunal and the Bosnian state court have sentenced a total of 43 people to around 600 years in prison, plus three life sentences, for committing genocide and other crimes in Srebrenica.