“Sad party meeting”: Dodik’s rally “Serbia is calling you” had no effect on the adoption of the Resolution on Srebrenica

Sad, insulting, arrogant, partisan – this is how our interlocutors describe the rally “Serbia is calling you” organized on Thursday in Banja Luka, as a sign of opposition to the adoption of the Resolution on Srebrenica in the United Nations General Assembly.

At the invitation of the SNSD, Milorad Dodik’s party, and partner parties, a rally “Serbia is calling you” was organized in Banja Luka on Thursday on the occasion of the Resolution on Srebrenica, which will be discussed by the UN General Assembly in May. No one from Dodik’s opposition attended the rally, except for the mayor of Banja Luka, Draško Stanivuković, who comes from the Party of Democratic Progress.

Without opposition, but with almost the entire state leadership of Serbia, Dodik said that Serbs cannot live in the same country with those who are trying to declare them genocidal, and that passing the resolution does not contribute to coexistence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He also said that he hopes that Donald Trump will win the November presidential elections in the United States of America, and he called Bosnia and Herzegovina “a disgrace of a country”. The speech ended with exclamations of “Long live Serbia”, “Long live Russia”, “Long live Republika Srpska”.

He expressed his reverence for the victims of Srebrenica, and expressed his condolences to their families, before repeating that there was no genocide in Srebrenica in 1995. He characterized it as a “crime at the end of the war, after fatigue and hatred”, and announced that the entire political leadership of Republika Srpska will be in Srebrenica to decide on the aforementioned resolution on May 2, in order to show that they are not ashamed of it and that is Srebrenica in Republika Srpska.

Other leaders of Srpska, as well as the president of the non-parliamentary Serbian party Zavetnici, Milica Đurđević Stamenkovski, a newly minted associate of the Serbian Progressive Party, addressed the crowd.

More citizens of Serbia than Banja Luka residents

Tanja Topić, a political analyst from Banja Luka, tells Danas that the rally “Serbia is calling you” was in no way different from “similar rallies from the ethno-national oeuvre”.

“Besides the insulting, harsh, disparaging messages towards members of the LGBT population, the Bosniak ethnic group, the pejorative insulting of Bosniaks as “Muslims” with whom Serbs have no common life, about the decadence of the EU, which honest and traditional Serbs will not enter because they would have to give up boilers and roasting brandy, at a time when the political leadership of Republika Srpska is proclaiming itself to be the flagship of BiH’s European path,” she says.

She adds that Stanivuković broke with the opposition regarding the protest and that he came, even though the people of Banja Luka mostly stayed at home.

“At the rally, there were more citizens from Serbia than people from Banja Luka, the president of the National Assembly of Serbia experienced a cold shower on stage, when Darko Banjac, swearing by Putin and regretting that Russia did not attack Germany as well, roared that he would not go to “gay Europe”” , says our interlocutor.

Topić says that it was “an evening of shame for decent Serbs”.

“We were killed by harsh and insulting messages, which those who uttered them will forget already tomorrow and continue to implement policies of threats and blackmail, independence to infinity, publicly despise the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, defend Dayton, insult international officials, expect the victory of Trump and Putin” humane approach” in Ukraine”, he says.

She adds that it seems that some kind of resolution in the “conflict” between Dodik and the international community is in sight.

It will homogenize the electorate

Stefan Blagić, journalist and founder of the ” ReStart Srpska ” movement, points out that the mood of the people in Srpska is extremely negative when it comes to the Resolution on Srebrenica. He adds that the opposition parties also have such an attitude, although they did not accept to come to the rally, because they characterized it as partisan. In support of that thesis, he says, are certain statements of Dodik from the meeting in which he mentioned the opposition.

“There is a general consensus in Srpska that we should not go in that direction, but that meeting in practice has no significance for the failure to adopt the resolution.” The moves of the President of Serbia and the lobbying that takes place among UN members mean much more, where it can produce an effect,” he says.

Blagić believes that this meeting will only homogenize the electorate both in Srpska and partly in Serbia, because almost the entire state leadership of Serbia attended.

“I just don’t understand how some obscure people like Milica Zavetnica are allowed to come, because she enjoys no support in Serbia, has not passed the census and changed her political uniform,” he says.

Speaking about the participation of Stanivuković, our interlocutor says that this PDP politician is under the complete protection of Dodik and that he does everything that Dodik tells him.

“He doesn’t even have private contacts with a large part of the opposition. It is clear that he will not be the candidate of the opposition in Baja Luka, as they are trying to present it, because Banja Luka is oppositional, and now he cooperates well with Dodik”, notes this journalist.

Looking back on the atmosphere at the meeting, Blagić notes that he expected a larger number of people, especially since those from Serbia were also coming.

“The atmosphere at the meeting alone was sad. Why do I say that? People came and it looked more like they were forced, brought, blackmailed. The atmosphere was calm, there was no euphoria, and after the meeting everyone left as if nothing had happened. I expected a much larger gathering and although the media reports that there were 50 thousand, it was between ten and twenty thousand”, he states.

He believes that officially Sarajevo has no reason to react to the rally itself, noting that there is freedom of assembly and expression of political opinion.

“A turbulent period awaits us, for Serbia as well, and it is important for Serbia as well, taking into account what is happening in Kosovo and Metohija,” he believes.

The General Assembly of the United Nations will discuss the Resolution on Srebrenica, which was initiated by Germany and Rwanda, in early May. It condemns without reservation any denial of the genocide in Srebrenica, as well as actions that glorify those convicted of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, including those responsible for the genocide in Srebrenica.

Among the co-sponsors of the Resolution are France and North Macedonia. According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, the resolution has so far been supported by more than 17 countries, including Slovenia, Italy, Liechtenstein, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Albania, Turkey, Jordan, Malaysia, Chile and New Zealand.

At the recent reflective presentation of the draft Resolution, arguments against the adoption of such a document were presented by diplomats from Serbia, Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

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