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Bosnian Serb Leader Denies Scope Of Srebrenica Massacre, Calls For Investigation


Milorad Dodik's comment was seen as an attempt to secure the support of hard-line Bosnian Serbs ahead of general elections in October. (file photo)

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik has disputed whether the 1995 Srebrenica massacre was a genocide committed against Muslim Bosniaks, and called for the forming of an "unbiased" international investigation into the tragedy.

"The Srebrenica crime is a staged tragedy with an aim to satanize the Serbs," Dodik told the National Assembly in Bosnia-Herzegovina's predominantly Serbian entity, Republika Srpska.

Dodik on August 14 demanded that the legislature revoke the 2004 report compiled by a previous Republika Srpska government, when Dodik was in the opposition. He also called for a new investigation into the events that occurred in the Podrinje region, where Srebrenica is located, during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Dodik's call was seen as an attempt to secure the support of hard-line Bosnian Serbs ahead of general elections in October.

Sehida Abdurahmanovic, a member of the Mothers of Srebrenica rights association, called Dodik's move "shameful and inhumane toward the victims."

Some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were massacred by Bosnian Serb forces who overran the town of Srebrenica in July 1995, during the Bosnian war. It was the worst mass killing in Europe since the end of World War II.

In 2007, the UN International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, ruled that the killings were genocide.

But Dodik disputed that, alleging that the number of those killed was manipulated.

"Many of those buried were killed in fighting and on that list [of buried victims] there are people still alive," he added.

The UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which is also based in The Hague, has sentenced Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander, Ratko Mladic, over the Srebrenica massacre and other atrocities during the war.

With reporting by AP and dpa
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