Bosnia’s presidency has condemned an attack on Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic at a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. It said Mr Vucic had visited the town “in a spirit of reconciliation, intending to pay respect” but was forced to flee the ceremony after being booed and heckled and then pelted with stones. About 8,000 Muslims were killed in Srebrenica by Bosnian Serb forces during the Bosnian war.
Following news that a small number of people had thrown stones at the Serbian Prime Minister who was attending the memorial, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: “People from across Bosnia and Herzegovina, the region and the international community gathered at Potocari today to commemorate the genocide in Srebrenica and victims on all sides of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I welcome in particular Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic’s attendance at the Srebrenica memorial and deplore the way a few individuals have sought to ruin the solemnity of today’s commemoration. Their action should not be allowed to detract from the sentiments felt by a majority; that the countries and peoples of the Western Balkans need to move forward together in reconciliation and cooperation.”
Speaking in Belgrade after the attack, Mr Vucic said his glasses had been smashed in the incident but he was otherwise unhurt. He said the attackers had been organised, but stressed he would continue his policy of rapprochement. “I am sorry that some people didn’t understand my sincere desire to build friendship between Serbs and Bosniaks,” he said. “My hand remains outstretched to the Bosniak people,” he added.