Montenegro’s Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic has asked parliament to dismiss Minister of Justice, Human and Minority Rights Vladimir Leposavic over comments he made earlier, which cast doubt on whether the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide waged by Bosnian Serbs was genocide.
“I am ready to admit that the crime of genocide was committed in Srebrenica when it is unequivocally established,” Leposavic said on Friday in Parliament.
It was met with criticism by the European Union and several countries, including the US, UK, Netherlands.
Governing coalition ally Dritan Abazovic, also deputy Prime Minister, slammed the comment: “There is no discussion about this topic. Who does not understand this, has no place in state institutions,” he wrote on Twitter.
Krivokapic said he had asked Leposavic to resign but was refused. Finding himself under pressure, mainly by the international community, the prime minister asked parliament on Monday to dismiss the minister, three days after the statement.
The parliament needs a simple majority of 41 MPs to approve the dismissal but its not clear whether the number will be reached. Part of the governing coalition have a pro-Serbian affiliation.
Albanians in Montenegro’s parliament said they will support the dismissal.
The Srebrenica Genocide took place in July 1995 in and around the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.
Within two weeks of entering the town, the Bosnian Serb Army led by Ratko Mladic killed more than 8,000 Bosniak civilians in one of the worst acts of mass killing on European soil since WWII.
The United Nations peacekeepers were criticized for not doing enough to stop the atrocity. Former Secretary-General Kofi Annan later said, “The tragedy of Srebrenica will forever haunt the history of the United Nations.”