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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Opposition politician: Chinese Zijin workers sexually harassed young girls

June 19, 2021
The deputy leader of the Party of Freedom and Justice, Marinika Tepic, told Nova.rs that there are often incidents involving Chinese workers employed in the company Zijin in the village of Metovnica, and that three of them recently sexually harassed minors.
„The girls were playing, and they (the workers) approached them and asked them to have sex. The children were terrified,“ Tepic said.
The girls were aged between 10 and 14, she said.
„The girls were terrified because they understood what it was about, especially the older ones. According to them, they constantly mentioned the word „sex“ and invited them to approach them. One of the younger girls told her mother what had happened,” she said, adding that the mother immediately called the police.
The mother also spoke to parents of other girls who said that this was not the first time the Chinese workers harassed minors in the area, Tepic said.
„They told her that children collect rocks when they see Chinese workers walking through the village to defend themselves in case they approach them,“ Tepic stressed.
The police confirmed what was happening and that this was not the first such incident, she stressed.
However, Tepic said it was difficult to identify the workers in question, arguing that, according to the mother of the victim, the police did not react quickly enough to the report.
“I was told by the police that they had done everything in their power. Now it is the turn of the prosecution,” Tepic concluded.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/opposition-politician-chinese-zijin-workers-sexually-harassed-young-girls/

Izetbegovic: Serbia is not prepared to face the truth of the past under Vucic

June20, 2021 

The Resolution on the Genocide in Srebrenica which Montenegro recently adopted benefits the development of better relations in the Balkans, and Serbia, under president Aleksandar Vucic, is still not ready to face the truth about what happened in Bosnia in the 1990s, the leader of the main Bosniak party in BiH, Bakir Izetbegovic, wrote on Sunday. 

The Party of Democratic Action (SDA) leader said the Resolution condemning the genocide in Srebrenica and prohibiting its denial, which Montenegro’s Parliament adopted on Thursday, represents “a big step towards accepting the truth about the events of the 1990s, which is the basis for continuing to establish trust and build better relations among the states and peoples of the Balkans.” 

“Unfortunately, the nervous reactions coming from Serbia show that there is still no readiness on that side for that kind of confrontation with the truth,” Izetbegovic wrote, arguing that this is best evidenced by the reaction of the Vucic who complained that Montenegro is ‘interfering in the issue of Srebrenica’. 

“Montenegrins and Montenegro, as well as all peoples and states belonging to the civilized and democratic world, should certainly ‘interfere in the issue of Srebrenica’. Any crime committed against innocent people, and especially genocide, concerns every just and truthful person in the world, every nation and every state,” he wrote, noting that many other countries also condemned the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. 

Montenegro “does have something to say” about the genocide, he argued, noting that the country was “pulled into” the BiH was under the policy of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. 

“With this attitude, Montenegrins, like the best European nations, have shown that they are ready to reject historical misconceptions and to build future relations with their environment on the foundations of the truth – no matter how bitter it may be,” he wrote. 

Izetbegovic argued that “a few years ago, it seemed as if Serbia as well, led by Vucic, would have the strength to confront the past.” 

“Unfortunately, this has not happened and will likely never happen. Vucic is returning to self-deception in which any Serb or Serbia can never be guilty and responsible for the evil committed. And they are guilty,” he stressed, adding that this was confirmed by the verdicts of the Hague Tribunal and the International Court of Justice. 

“Both courts ruled that genocide was committed in Srebrenica. Most of the Serbian military and political leadership was sentenced before the Hague Tribunal, and before the International Court of Justice, Serbia was the first country in the world to be found guilty of violating the UN Genocide Convention,” Izetbegovic added. 

Dodik to Lajcak: Dialogue within BiH is key, not international interventionism

June 19, 2021 

Internal dialogue between elected political representatives is key to Bosnia’s success, Bosnia’s Presidency Chairman, Milorad Dodik, and EU Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, Miroslav Lajcak, agreed during their meeting at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum. 

Dodik, who is the Serb member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, told Lajcak that “dialogue of elected political representatives in BiH is the key to success,” as opposed to “international interventionism”. 

Many internal agreements have been destroyed in BiH through “international interventionism,” he stressed. 

The two agreed that Bosnia’s path forward is in the dialogue between its three constituent peoples. 

Dodik told Lajcak that “dialogue of elected political representatives in BiH is the key to success,” as opposed to “international interventionism”. 

Many internal agreements have been destroyed in BiH through “international interventionism,” he stressed. 

Dzaferovic, Komsic to Lajcak: EU should remain consistent towards Bosnia

June 19, 2021 

The Bosniak and Croat of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic, discussed the political situation in Bosnia with EU Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, Miroslav Lajcak, at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum and stressed the need to implement European Court for Human Rights rulings in the country. 

Lajcak and the Presidency members spoke about Bosnia’s implementation of reforms as part of fulfilling the 14 key priorities the European Commission defined for the country to achieve EU candidate status. 

The implementation of rulings by the European Court to end ethnic discrimination in the country is among those priorities. 

The EU should remain consistent in its principles towards Bosnia, the two Presidency members said. 

They also discussed mechanisms of accountability that could prevent obstructions in the work of the government. 

BiH Serb MP: Montenegrin Srebrenica Resolution is an unforgettable betrayal

June 18, 2021 

The adoption of the Srebrenica genocide Resolution by the Montenegrin Parliament is a betrayal of the Serb people that cannot be forgotten, Bosnian Serb delegate Dusanka Majkic from the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) said Friday following Thursday's adoption of the said Resolution. 

“Now that the world's greatest authorities have begun to challenge the events in Srebrenica from the previous war, the Montenegrin Parliament decided to take this shameful step directed against the entire Serb people,” Majkic who is a delegate in the House of Peoples of Bosnia's Parliamentary Assembly concluded. 

She said it is sad what the strength and energy of several months of holding lities, which were expected to give birth to a new Montenegro, “which Njegos sang about.” 

Majkic emphasized that this is why it is “difficult for Serbs to accept what happened in just one evening. With the vote for this shameful anti-Serb resolution, Montenegro returned to the path planned by the current president Milo Djukanovic.” 

“Today, when all the attacks are directed against Serbia, the (Bosnian entity) Republika Srpska and the Serb people, betrayal is the strongest thing that can be done to a people, and it can never be forgotten,” said Dusanka Majkic. 

Montenegrin Parliament adopted the Resolution on the Genocide in Srebrenica on Thursday and dismissed the country's Justice Minister over his controversial statements on the 1995 genocide in Bosnia. 

According to the Resolution, proposed by the Bosniak Party in the country, Montenegro will declare July 11 a day of mourning and remembrance for the victims of the 1995 genocide that took place in the eastern Bosnian town and the Parliament will condemn any public denial of the genocide. 

MEP: Belgrade and Pristina must implement reforms they agreed to

June 18, 2021 

Viola von Cramon, an MEP and the European Parliament's Rapporteur for Kosovo, told N1 on Friday that both Belgrade and Pristina should implement the reforms they committed to and do "what is up to them" to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.  

She refused to comment on Serbia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic’s accusation that by saying „nothing is agreed on until everything is agreed,“ Von Cramon made „a serious political and diplomatic foul.“ 

„It’s better that I don’t answer to such claims. It won’t help anyone. We all should do our homework. And I call on all participants, from both Serbia and Kosovo side, to do what is up to them and what is constructive so that we could soon find a good and successful agreement for the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina,“ Von Cramon said. 

She added she always advocated the necessary reforms, and that „goes for Kosovo as well. And I have criticised politicians both in Belgrade and Pristina.“ 

Three injured in explosion at ammunition factory in Cacak

June 20, 2021 

A powerful explosion in the ammunition factory "Sloboda" in Cacak, western Serbia, injured three pyrotechnic workers on Saturday evening and caused several small fires in the area. 

The fires were extinguished and locals living near the site have been evacuated and sent to a hotel. 

This was the second explosion that took place in the factory in the past 15 days. The last one happened on June 4. 

Cacak’s mayor, Milun Todorovic, told N1 that there is no connection between the two incidents. 

„The explosion happened in a gunpowder warehouse. No related effects or detonation chains (have been found). Specialized teams are on the field and are determining the causes,“ he said. 

Dodik: RS entity will not agree to Bosnia joining NATO

June 20, 2021 

Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity will not give up on its principle of military neutrality and there is no way it will agree to the country becoming a full NATO member, the Chairman and Serb member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, said on Sunday. 

In line with most Bosnian Serb politicians, Dodik has been a fierce opponent to Bosnia joining the alliance and said he will block any attempt of it happening. 

Dodik, who is also the leader of the ruling party in the Serb-majority RS entity, noted that the RS declared military neutrality in 2017 and will stick by that decision. 

“We had the courage to make that declaration, and we from Republika Srpska are acting in full coordination on that declaration of the RS National Assembly,” he told reporters in Bijeljina. 

Earlier on Sunday, Bosnia’s Defence Minister, Sifet Podzicsaid the country was “the final step before full membership” in the alliance as it is in the Membership Action Plan (MAP). 

Dodik argued that a recent NATO declaration states that Georgia, Ukraine and some other countries are in the process of cooperation with NATO, as opposed to not integration. 

He said that if BiH, or Bosnia’s other semi-autonomous entity, the Federation (FBiH), want to enter the alliance, “let’s see how they will do it without us.” 

Bosnia's Defence Min: We are on the last step before full NATO membership

June 19, 2021 

Bosnia is on the last step before becoming a full NATO member as it participates in the Membership Action Plan (MAP) and is about to send its Reform Programme for 2021 to Brussels, Defence Minister, Sifet Podzic, said at the Sunday session of the Krug 99 Association of Independent Intellectuals. 

Podzic described NATO as a serious multinational organisation that is proving to be the most responsible and disciplined such alliance in the world. 

“This is the last program that NATO has in its process before full membership in the NATO alliance,” Podzic said. 

“We wasted the year 2019 because we failed to agree that this (Reform Programme) was the Annual National Programme,” Podzic said, explaining that the deadlock was achieved through a compromise in the BiH Presidency to rename the document the Reform Programme. 

He stated that the 2020 Reform Program was adopted and sent to Brussels. 

“The tasks of who should do what in BiH within a period of one year have been specified. This was reviewed and evaluated in Brussels by all allies. I know roughly what the report is like,” he said, adding that he expects the report to be presented at the beginning of July. 

It will show what BiH managed to achieve from its programme throughout the past year, he explained. 

“The program for 2021 has been made and I expect it to be sent to Brussels very soon. BiH's NATO path has not been interrupted. We are on the last step before admission to full membership,” he said. 

Interior Min: Serbia to ban entry to those who voted for Srebrenica resolution

June 18, 2021 

Aleksandar Vulin, Serbia’s Interior Minister, said on Friday he would ask for the ban on entry to all Montenegro’s MPs who voted in favour of the Srebrenica Declaration to his country.  

“(Serbia’s) President (Aleksandar) Vucic is not the man who likes to ban, but I’ll ask him to ban entry to Serbia to all those who voted in favour of the Resolution. Let them see their families, who are well located in Belgrade, in Montenegro,” Vulin said, reacted to Thursday’s Srebrenica Declaration in Montenegro’s Parliament. 

He added that those who voted for the Declaration couldn’t consider themselves Serbs anymore. 

Croatian President calls for unity on status of Bosnian Croats

June 18, 2021 

The Croatian Heritage Foundation marked its 70th anniversary at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb on Friday, with President Zoran Milanovic calling for unity on the status of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

In his address, the president called for unity on key matters, saying that today one of them, to a certain extent, was the status of Croats in BiH. 

“Their homeland is BiH as it was designed 26 years ago by an international agreement which was signed by Croatia and which it will honour in good faith.” 

Milanovic said there was a big chance to position Croatia among the most advanced states in Europe, “there where it never was but where it belongs.” 

He said the Croatian nation had been a dream whose realisation depended on “a few good, right people” who gathered around that idea at a certain moment in history. 

The Croatian Heritage Foundation is an institution representing a “firm and safe bridge to the homeland” for about 3.5 million Croats and their descendants around the world, it was said at the event. 

The deputy speaker of the BiH Parliament’s House of Peoples, Dragan Covic, thanked Milanovic for “speaking very loudly these days about the role of the Croat people in BiH.” 

“We are proud to have Croatia as our homeland, but we won’t renounce BiH as our homeland either. There’s 15% of us in BiH, but as the least numerous, we are the most industrious. We are the leaders of all positive integration processes in BiH,” Covic said. 

He thanked Croatia’s officials for encouraging Croats in BiH to preserve their equality as a constituent people and ensure legitimate representation at all government levels. 

Vucic to Serbs in Montenegro: Keep your head up, we’re with you

June 18, 2021 

Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's President, told the Serbs in Montenegro on Friday that Belgrade would always be with them and to "keep their head up." He said that Serbia would analyse all Montenegro Parliament's decisions and would not go for hasty solutions, “neither would it insult those who passed those decisions contrary to Serbia's interests.” 

“My message to our people in Montenegro is that we stand by them, we should keep our heads up, to build peace. Long live Serbia and Serb people,” he wrote on his Instagram account, without specifically mentioning the Srebrenica declaration, which was adopted by the Parliament of Montenegro on Thursday. 

“People in Serbia, keep your head up, we’ll have more resolutions and declarations in the region,” Vucic said. 

“They all will be copy-pasted British, UN Security Council and some other resolutions and everyone will say they are not against the Serb people, while it’s clear to all against whom they are. However, we will continue to talk, work together with everybody, show to the nations in the region we want to have the closest cooperation, and no one will stop Serbia in its rise,” he added. 

Earlier on Friday, an MP from Vucic's SNS party proposed a draft Srebrenica resolution, without mentioning the term genocide. 

Dodik: Montenegrin adoption of Srebrenica Resolution is a hostile act

June 18, 2021 

Bosnia's tripartite Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik said Friday that he "perceives the decision of the Parliament of Montenegro to adopt the Resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica as an absolutely hostile act." 

“The Montenegrin Parliament has not proved anything about Srebrenica but they proved that they are also continuously anti-Serb. I experience it absolutely as a hostile act and I will know how to treat them and their attitude towards this As well as towards the Montenegrin majority that supports the resolution.” Dodik pointed out. 

Speaking for the RTRS, Milorad Dodik emphasized that “it is incomprehensible for the Montenegrin Parliament to vote on the Resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica,” and that this has not yet happened in BiH. 

“If the BiH Parliamentary Assembly didn’t adopt a similar document, then the question arises why Montenegro did? The question is, is it an act of interference in internal affairs? If BiH politics could not reach a consensus on the issue, how is it possible that they have the right to talk about it?” Dodik wonders. 

Montenegrin Parliament adopted the Resolution on the Genocide in Srebrenica on Thursday and dismissed the country's Justice Minister over his controversial statements on the 1995 genocide in Bosnia. 

According to the Resolution, proposed by the Bosniak Party in the country, Montenegro will declare July 11 a day of mourning and remembrance for the victims of the 1995 genocide that took place in the eastern Bosnian town and the Parliament will condemn any public denial of the genocide. 

Vucic: Serbia will not adopt a resolution on Srebrenica while I am president

June 20, 2021 

Serbia’s President, Aleksandar Vucic, said he will not allow the adoption of the Resolution on Srebrenica in Montenegro to "put a collective mark on every member of our people," because the resolution is generalised and "does not mention individuals who committed horrible acts". 

The Parliament of Montenegro adopted the Resolution on the Genocide in Srebrenica on Thursday, meaning that the country will declare July 11 a day of mourning and remembrance for the victims of the 1995 genocide that took place in the eastern Bosnian town and that the Parliament will condemn any public denial of the genocide. 

Vucic said that no resolution on Srebrenica will pass in Serbia as long as he is president. 

Those who advocate for such a resolution are trying to “suck up to some ambassadors, believing they will help them come to power in one way or another,” he said. 

The Montenegrin resolution is “against the vital interests of the Serb people,” he stressed. 

In March 2010, the Serbian Parliament adopted the Declaration on Srebrenica, which condemned the crime committed against Bosniaks in July 1995, but, despite the verdicts of international courts, it did not qualify it as genocide. 

US State Department welcomed Montenegro’s adoption of Srebrenica Resolution

June 18, 2021 

The US State Department welcomed the adoption of the Resolution on the Genocide in Srebrenica by Montenegro’s Parliament, according to which the country condemns any denial of the genocide that took place in the eastern Bosnian town in 1995. 

“The position of the United States on this issue is long-lasting and unwavering. This painful chapter of European history must never be denied or forgotten,” a US State Department spokesperson told Voice of America on Friday. 

According to the Resolution, proposed by the Bosniak Party in the country, Montenegro will declare July 11 a day of mourning and remembrance for the victims of the 1995 genocide. 

Montenegro’s Parliament also voted to dismiss Minister of Justice and Human and Minority Rights in the Government of Montenegro, Vladimir Leposavic, over his controversial recent statements in which he questioned whether the Srebrenica Genocide took place. 

Leposavic said in March that he is ready to recognize that genocide was committed in Srebrenica “when it gets proven unequivocally.” 

He argued that the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which ruled that the 1995 genocide took place, has “lost its legitimacy.” 

The Resolution, which was met with strong opposition by numerous Serb political representatives across the region, notes that more than 8,000 Bosniak civilians were killed in Srebrenica in the genocide. 

It calls for all those accused of involvement in the genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity to be investigated and prosecuted. 

The document also condemns any attempts to blame any specific ethnic group for the genocide, stressing that the responsibility for it can only be put on individuals. 

 The Resolution says it is based on rulings by the international courts. 

It also says that with its adoption, Montenegro, as a full member of NAto, shows commitment to European and Euro-Atlantic values. 

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