In March, Serbia apologized for the Srebrenica massacre
in Bosnia in 1995, when several thousand Muslim boys and men
were murdered by Bosnian Serb forces. Parliament adopted, by
a marginal margin, a resolution condemning the massacre and
apologizing to the victims' relatives. The International
Court of Justice in The Hague had ruled that Serbia had
violated international law by not preventing the massacre.
The excuse was assumed to facilitate Serbia's road to the
EU. However, the biggest stumbling block remained unsolved:
the Bosnian Serbs leader during the war, the war criminal
suspected Ratko Mladić, was still on the loose.
Serbia has a population of 6.964 million (2019). The government reacted with dismay and anger when the
International Court of Justice in The Hague in July ruled
that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence in 2008
did not violate international law. Serbia, who had turned to
the court on the matter, stated that the message was not
accepted. However, after pressure from the EU, Belgrade
announced in September that direct talks with the state of
the breakaway would begin.
The government's west-friendly line aroused opposition,
and extremists were accused of trying to hinder development
by creating concern and chaos in the country. Ultranational
forces were assumed to be behind two organized violence
outbreaks in October. Pure crows broke out in Belgrade at a
Pride festival for the rights of LGBT people. More than 100
people were injured, most of them police. A couple of days
later, an EM qualifying match in football in Italy was blown
off due to rape violence. Before the match, Serbian
hooligans had attacked the Serbian player bus.
President Boris Tadić visited Vukovar in Croatia in
November and apologized as the first Serbian leader for a
massacre in the city in 1991. Together with his Croatian
colleague Ivo Josipović, Tadić visited a memorial site for
260 people murdered by the Yugoslav army after searching for
their refuge in a hospital.
Two of the men convicted in the absence of the 2003
murder of Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić were arrested during
the summer. One was arrested in Croatia and became the first
to be extradited to Serbia under a new agreement between the
countries. The other was arrested shortly afterwards at the
border. Long prison sentences awaited both, both for the
murder of Đin mić and for several brutal mafia murders.