"By denying the genocide in Srebrenica, Mladen Grujičić, mayor of this town, is implementing Milorad Dodik's policies that aim to relativize and diminish the Srebrenica genocide," said former mayor of Srebrenica and leader of the Organizing Committee for the celebration of the 22nd anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, Ćamil Duraković, following Grujičić television address that again offended victims of the genocide.
"Every year before the Srebrenica genocide anniversary we hear stories from Banja Luka that aim to overshadow the July events. Around the anniversary of the genocide they further humiliate the victims and survivors and attempt to relativize the story about Srebrenica. Dodik's announcements made during the election campaign are becoming reality. He claimed that the mayor of Srebrenica should be a Serb, all in order to diminish the importance of this city's story," Duraković explained.
Grujičić was at a TV show on N1 two nights ago, and when asked whether he denies the genocide, the mayor replied that he "cannot deny something that never happened." He does not believe that the death toll was 8,372, and claims the number was much smaller, according to his personal research.
The Mothers of Srebrenica are not surprised by these statements. Although, Kada Hotić, vice president of the Association of Mothers of Srebrenica and Žepa, many expected Grujičić to be more delicate. He now showed his true face.
"We didn't expect anything else. Before the elections, he was walking around with a [Serbian] cockade. Of course, such a man denies the genocide. Those who allow this should be ashamed. They should at least warn him that he should not offend others. He is an open enemy of all Bosniaks in Srebrenica," Hotić said.
Sadik Ahmetović, vice president of the genocide commemoration organizing committee, says that an added problem is the fact that Bosniaks part of the local authorities are silent on his denial of the genocide.
"The silence of Bosniaks who form a government with him in Srebrenica is an even bigger problem, because it shows that because of the government we should forget and deny the genocide," said Ahmetović, adding that after his statements it is clear that Banja Luka and Belgrade are behind Grujičić.
"The young mayor reiterated that the genocide never happened, and thus confirmed the fact that he is not thinking with his own head, because, neither Banja Luka nor Belgrade accept the genocide," Ahmetović added.
The former mayor is disappointed with the international community, especially because Grujičić was praised for his bid for coexistence during a recent meeting of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC).
"It's not the Bosniaks who determined there was a genocide. Courts, belonging to Europe and the international community, made this judgment. They must reply to these allegations. This is an intolerable and hypocritical attitude of the international community," Duraković concluded.
Translated by: Tea IVANOVIĆ
(Original version: Načelnik Srebrenice Mladen Grujičić je pokazao pravo lice)