Vucic stoned at Srebrenica ceremony

By bne IntelliNews July 13, 2015

bne IntelliNews -


Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic was attacked with stones during the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim boys and men by Bosnian Serb military commanders in Srebrenica on July 11.

Vucic, now a pro-European leader and a promoter of compromise in the Balkans, had arrived in Srebrenica in a symbolic visit to demonstrate Serbia’s interest in reconciliation and to pay respect to the war victims.

However, his visit was marred by painful memories of his hardline nationalist past during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war. The words he once said in parliament - “For every Serbian killed, we will kill 100 Muslims” – were turned into slogans on July 11 above the heads of the mourners in the Potocari memorial complex in Srebrenica.

Protesters threw stones, bottles and other objects at Vucic who was rushed away from the memorial complex by his bodyguards. The attack was strongly condemned by the international community, the European Union, as well as by Serbian and Bosnian officials.

“The fact that the prime minister of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, who took the historic decision to come to the 20th anniversary commemoration of the genocide at Srebrenica, was forced to leave today goes against the spirit of this day of remembrance,” EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said in a statement following the attack. “It shows that we all need to redouble our efforts to overcome hatred and pursue reconciliation across the whole Western Balkans region and beyond.”

Mogherini said that the EU expects a full investigation into the incident by the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities.

Media reports said that Vucic was hit in the face by a stone, which broke his glasses. He told a news conference upon his return to Belgrade that the attack against him was “well organised and prepared”.

“I express regret that this happened and because some people have not recognised my sincere intention to build friendship between Serbs and Bosniaks,” Vucic said.

He pointed out that during the commemoration of the Srebrenica anniversary he was warmly welcomed by the mothers of those killed (from the Association of Srebrenica Mothers) and by Srebrenica mayor Camil Durakovic, adding his attackers were not supported by the victims’ families.

The attack on Vucic took place after Russia vetoed on July 8 a special resolution at the United Nations that would have labelled the Srebrenica massacre a genocide. The Russian veto resulted from heavy lobbying by Serbia and Bosnia’s Serb Republic against the resolution.

Even though the 1995 killings are considered the worst atrocity to have occurred in Europe since the end of Second World War, and the International Court of Justice and the war tribunal in the Hague have already ruled the crime as genocide, Serbia and Bosnian Serbs still declined to recognise it as such.

On July 12, Serbia sent a protest note to Bosnia over the attack against Vucic, calling it an attempted murder.

"By attending the commemoration… Vucic showed readiness to pay homage to the Srebrenica victims and make a step forward in the relations within the region, which is something we expect from other countries as well," the diplomatic note read.

"We expect the officials of Bosnia-Herzegovina to publicly condemn the attempted murder of the Serbian Prime Minister," it added.

Bosnian Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak strongly condemned the attack, while Srebrenica mayor Durakovic went even further, calling the attackers “human ragtag”. At the same time, the Bosnian government has called an extraordinary cabinet meeting for July 13 to discuss the events.

Related Articles

Macedonia kept on hold as Balkans edges towards EU goal

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest -   Macedonia’s EU accession progress remains stalled amid the country’s worst political crisis in 14 years, while most countries in the Southeast Europe region have ... more

Austria's Erste rides CEE recovery to swing to profit in Jan-Sep

bne IntelliNews - Erste Group Bank saw the continuing economic recovery across Central and Eastern Europe push its January-September financial results back into net profit of €764.2mn, the ... more

INVISIBLE HAND: Rhetorical wizard Draghi conjures up a QE battle

Liam Halligan in London -   Mario Draghi is being hailed, once again, as a rhetorical wizard. The president of the European Central Bank has done it again. After the October meeting of the ECB’s ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or 12 months full access inc. Magazine and Weekly Newspaper for just $119/year.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

Thank you for purchasing a bne IntelliNews subscription. We look forward to serving you as one of our paid subscribers. An email confirmation will be sent to the email address you have provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. The confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.