ANALYSIS - Re-writing and whitewashing recent history in Bosnia


On 7 February 2019, the Bosnian Serb government, under the chairmanship of Radovan Višković, established two commissions: one to “research” the events which took place in Srebrenica between 1992 and 1995, and the other to serve a similar function in respect to the siege of Sarajevo. The decision marked the culmination of a fifteen-year effort on the part of various governments in the Serb-dominated part of Bosnia to undermine, deny, and misrepresent the facts established beyond a reasonable doubt by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The sole purpose of this enterprise was, and remains, to produce a competitive and counterfactual narrative of the crimes committed against Bosniaks in Sarajevo and Srebrenica.

A week ago, Bosnian investigative news portal “Istraga” published evidence that Višković himself was involved in the genocidal operation in Srebrenica in July 1995. The evidence which surfaced initially placed Višković inside the vast operation for the removal of mass graves in the aftermath of the genocide. Within the week, a series of articles was published which also linked him with the transportation of prisoners -- a key aspect of the murder of almost the entire Bosniak male population of the enclave of Srebrenica. On at least one occasion Višković seems to have been involved in organizing the transport of a group of 700 prisoners to a detention site from which they were taken to be executed 24 hours later.

The reaction of the Bosnian Serb political establishment was furious: within 48 hours, the lead