Actions to Follow Apology
With regard to the statement made by the President of the Republic of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolić, in the “Interview 20” show on Radio Television Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) calls on President Nikolić, together with the other institutions concerned, to take concrete steps which will show that this symbolic act represents the beginning of an honourable and responsible stance by the state of Serbia when it comes to dealing with the legacy of crimes committed in the name of the Serbian people. This is the only way for President Nikolić to wipe away the justified suspicion that many people entertain relating to the honesty of his apology, which has been reinforced by repeated denial that genocide was committed in Srebrenica.
The massive and systematic nature of the genocide and other crimes committed in the name of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina was unparalleled in the wars during the nineteen-nineties on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The victims of these crimes and their families have been waiting for 18 years for a genuine recognition of what they have suffered by the present and future generations of Serbian society. The apology given by the President of Serbia may only represent the beginning of such recognition. All of the Serbian institutions concerned need now to prove that they have accepted dealing with the past as a civilizational obligation. The criminal prosecution of a much greater number of perpetrators of crimes, the provision of material and nonmaterial satisfaction for the victims, the introduction of the comprehensive truth about the crimes in the former Yugoslavia into the history books and support for the RECOM Initiative, are only some of the steps that would make institutions in Serbia an honest actor in reconciliation throughout the region.