President Dodik is, as always, wrong to claim genocide did not take place in and around Srebrenica in July 1995. The facts of this tragedy are supported by unimpeachable forensic and other evidence and have been established beyond a shadow of doubt by international courts: elements of the Army of Republika Srpska, under the command of Ratko Mladic and the political direction of Radovan Karadzic, committed genocide, and they are war criminals. The guilt for this and other war crimes committed during the 1992-1995 war rests with the perpetrators, not with an entire ethnic group. Mr. Dodik’s repeated denial of the Srebrenica genocide cannot change these facts.
Coarse and bigoted comments about Srebrenica and other sensitive issues do not help the people of the Republika Srpska. They are an effort to divert attention from the ongoing campaign to take away the fundamental freedoms of the people living in Republika Srpska; from the failure to address the day-to-day issues of most concern to Republika Srpska’s residents, such as rising prices; and from irresponsible public borrowing, which is mortgaging the Republika Srpska’s future.
We cannot prevent Mr. Dodik from continuing to embarrass himself and the Republika Srpska, but the United States will continue to speak out against genocide denial. We will also continue to engage with and support the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the residents of Republika Srpska, as they work to build a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous future for themselves inside the Euro-Atlantic community of nations.