Srebrenica elects as mayor Serb who denies massacre was genocide

Srebrenica, where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Serb nationalist forces seeking to carve an ethnically homogeneous state out of Bosnia, has elected its first Serbian mayor since the 1995 massacre.
For relatives of the victims, the election of Mladen Grujicic, a Serbian nationalist who denies that the massacre was genocide despite international court rulings to the contrary, marks an ominous turn in Bosnian politics.
The US-brokered Dayton accords that ended the war set up an intricate federal structure with a weak central government designed to preserve Bosnia as a multi-ethnic state. But decentralisation has essentially entrenched the status quo achieved by Serbian and Croatian forces, critics say.
Srebrenica, a Muslim-majority town before the war, fell within the territory of Bosnia’s Serb Republic under the peace deal; its 7,500 population is now 55% Serb and 45% Bosniak (Muslim). Bosnia’s other autonomous entity is the Bosniak-Croat Federation.
Grujicic claims Srebrenica’s Serbs face discrimination, and denies that the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague has ever proved the massacre was genocide. “When they prove it to be the truth, I’ll be the first to accept it,” he said.
His defeated rival, Camil Durakovic, a Bosniak, pledged to appeal against the result of what he called a “rigged” election.
Zulfo Salihovic, a local politician who was one of the last Bosniaks to escape Srebrenica before the massacre, said he was worried for the future of the town’s Bosniaks.
“We fear that Bosniaks and other citizens who think differently from the leaders of Serb nationalist parties will be humiliated, bullied and discriminated against,” he said.

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