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Bosnia To Appeal 2007 UN Court Ruling That Cleared Belgrade Of Genocide

Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim Bosniak member of Bosnia-Herzegovina's tripartite presidency. (file photo)

Bosnia-Herzegovina says it will appeal a 2007 United Nations court ruling that cleared the government in Belgrade of genocide during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim Bosniak member of the county's tripartite presidency, said on February 17 that the legal bid would be submitted before the 10-year deadline for an appeal expires on February 26.

The decision could ignite a political crisis in Bosnia, as Bosnian Serb legislators plan to boycott parliament to show their opposition to the action.

Izetbegovic leads Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of a three-party presidency along with his Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Serb counterparts.

The International Court of Justice in 2007 exonerated the Belgrade government of direct responsibility for killings, rapes, and "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

It did rule, however, that Belgrade failed to prevent genocide related to the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, where some 8,000 Muslims were killed by Bosnian Serb forces.

Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat leaders have opposed Izetbegovic’s move, saying it would violate the constitution and cause a political crisis in the country.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP