SREBRENICA, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) — High Representative Miroslav Lajcak says he is optimistic about prospects for development and reconciliation in Srebrenica, where in July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces massacred an estimated 8,000 Bosniak men and boys. During a visit Wednesday (April 23rd), Lajcak stressed that only a multi-ethnic Srebrenica has a future, adding that the international community is working closely with Bosnian politicians to guarantee fair and transparent local elections in Srebrenica this autumn. Lajcak added that projects aimed at normalising life in Srebrenica and developing it economically have started to yield results. “The town that is a symbol of BiH’s tragic past should now become a symbol of its successful future,” Lajcak said.
Last summer, Srebrenica’s City Council demanded the town gain special status outside the jurisdiction of Republika Srpska (RS), months after the International Court of Justice ruled Bosnian Serb forces had committed genocide there. RS authorities opposed the special status drive, offering instead a resolution declaring Srebrenica a town of special importance, and pledged various support packages to encourage economic development. (Nezavisne Novine – 24/04/08; Fena, RTRS, NTV Hayat – 23/04/08)