Janša Criticised in Bosnia for Suggesting Link Between Communism, Srebrenica

By , 13 Jul 2020, 10:20 AM Politics
PM Janša PM Janša vlada.si, Twitter

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STA, 12 July 2020 - Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša has become the target of criticism in Bosnia-Herzegovina after implying on Twitter that the Srebrenica massacre would not have occurred had post-WWII summary executions been adequately condemned.

Janša published a tweet on Saturday, the 25th anniversary of the massacre in Srebrenica, stating that the massacre "would not have occurred if Communist ideology had been done away with in the territory of the former Yugoslavia and post-war killings in Slovenia and elsewhere condemned."

A few hours later he tweeted that "the Srebrenica massacre would not have occurred if the United Nations had condemned Communist genocides the same way they condemned the Holocaust. Because this did not happen, the JLA [Yugoslav People's Army] doctrine that the opponent must be physically destroyed sprung to life again during the break-up of Yugoslavia".

Both tweets came with a link to a story about an article he wrote in 2009 entitled "Did the Berlin Wall really come down on both sides?".

Oslobođenje, a major Bosnian newspaper, said that "while the whole world talks about the genocide in Srebrenica, this politician is diverting public attention to something else, by expressing messages that may be interpreted as fascist. Is this an attempt by Janez Janša to amnesty criminals who perpetrated one of the biggest genocides in this region?"

Slobodna Bosna, a news portal, said the statement was a "morbid provocation not becoming of a statesman". It said only an "ignorant or malevolent and unhinged mind is capable of this. And as far as we know, Janez Janša is not ignorant."

Several other Bosnian news outlets carried similar reactions.

Janša expounded on his views with several more Twitter posts on Sunday.

In one tweet, he quoted a statement by an unnamed Bosnian-Serb soldier, apparently from a documentary film on Srebrenica, saying that Yugoslavia had killed hundreds of thousands of prisoners and nobody was held accountable, which led them to believe that the graves around Srebrenica would not be uncovered for another fifty years,

In another post, he said that the genocide in Srebrenica had been "conceived by the evil raised in the Communist JLA academy under the red star (and not in a nationalist religious school). #JLA generals and officers were taught that the fundamental goal of armed struggle was to liquidate the opponent. Mladić and his ilk are products of that school."

The tweet was accompanied by a photo of Bosnian-Serb general Ratko Mladić, a convicted war criminal, wearing a Yugoslav army uniform with a red star on his side cap.

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