RECOM Reconciliation Network

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23.05.2011.

Political Support to RECOM in Serbia

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Besides initial support of the President of Serbia, Boris Tadić, and the President of the Liberal Democratic Party, the Initiative for the establishment of theRegional Commission for Establishing Facts About All Victims of Wars 1991-2001 on the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia (RECOM) also received support from a number of politicians and political parties in Serbia since the beginning of the signatures collection campaign on April 26.

The Vice President of the Democratic Party (DS), Jelena Trivan, signed the initiative for establishing RECOM on May 17 and highlighted that DS offers its full political and operational support for the establishment of the inter-governmental commission, which “the President of DS and the President of Serbia, Boris Tadić, gave last year” in order to collect one million signatures necessary for this initiative to become the initiative of all successor countries of the former Yugoslavia.

“All victims deserve the truth, and perpetrators deserve punishment”, Ms Trivan said stating that it is in Serbia’s best interest to put an end to the past, to establish the truth and facts because, as she said, this is the only way Leading towards reconciliation in the region. President of the DS Executive Board, Marko Đurišić, and the Secretary of the Party, Tamara Tripić, also gave their signatures of support.

President of the Government of Vojvodina, Bojan Pajtić, signed for RECOM on May 16, in the centre of Novi Sad. “People are not numbers. Every victim has a life, love, and hope. Hence, every death in the Balkans deserves a full name, every perpetrator deserves punishment, and every citizen deserves the truth and justice. This is the only way to have peace and common future. For this reason I signed this initiative on behalf of the Province”, Pajtić stated at this occasion.

“I signed this initiative for establishing RECOM with great pleasure because we must not forget what happened and we must not let it happen again. As a member of the Parliament, I will strive to have this initiative as soon as possible on the agenda of the Parliament of Serbia”, Suzana Grubješić, a member of the Presidency of the United Regions of Serbia (URS), after signing for RECOM, together with members of the URS youth network on May 19 at the Republic Square in Belgrade. President of the United Regions of Serbia, Mlađan Dinkić, also signed the initiative for RECOM.

Among first persons who gave support signatures in early May were MP’s from LDP. President of the LDP MP’s association, Čedomir Jovanović, stated on May 5, that dealing with the past through punishment of responsible individuals, respect of the rights of victims, and work on the prevention of crimes is the only way to lay foundation for a democratic society, which will be able to build up good relations in the region and in the world.

“Only with a truthful relation towards crimes from the past will we be able to say that we are devoted to the building of the future in which something like this will not happen again. This is the only guarantee that our children will not have to go through the horrors that many generations of our society had to go through”, Jovanović stated.

A member of the Parliament from LDP, Kenan Hajdarević, thinks that it is unbelievable that so many years after the completion of the horrific conflicts on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, we still do not know the exact number of victims.

“We are facing the denial of judicial facts, perpetrators are presented as heroes, and the rights of victims are very often ignored. I think that it is very important to establish RECOM because of the responsibility towards victims, their families and in order to prevent manipulation of the facts in the future,” Hajdarević stressed.

President of the League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina (LSV), Nenad Čanak, called for people to support the establishment of the Commission on May 7 when he signed the initiative for RECOM in the centre of Novi Sad.

“There are two things without a limit, the truth and repugnance. Our region is contaminated with lies and that is the reason why we need to take a joint action”, Čanak said.

“I do not know what will be the result of this initiative, but every attempt needs to be supported because every trace of the fight for truth is important; especiallybecause it seems that on the territory of the former Yugoslavia there is a massive attempt to forget – victims do not want to remember the horrors, and executioners want to run away from their responsibility”, Čanak stated. He added that there are many things from the past, which need to be resolved, but victims are the priority. A member of the Parliament and the spokesperson for LSV Aleksandra Jerkov also signed the Initiative for RECOM.

President of the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia, Slavica Đukić Dejanović, had a meeting with representatives of the Coalition for RECOM on May 12 during which she supported the idea of compiling a register of the victims of wars waged on the territory of the former Yugoslavia in the period 1991- 2001 and she stressed that time must not conceal or forget any victim.

“There will be no reconciliation in the region until families of the dead, kidnapped, and killed obtain satisfaction”, Oliver Ivanović, a state secretary in the Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija stated when giving his support for the establishment of RECOM on May 16.

He does not believe that all perpetrators of crimes will be prosecuted: “This regional initiative for reconciliation can help to forget the problem that we had in the region during 1990s”, Ivanović said and added that after the reconciliation process begins, then we can think about long-term political stability.

President of the First Working Roundtable of the Pact for Stability of the South East Europe and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Montenegro Goran Svilanović said after giving his support that it would be good “if we all could agree that the ones convicted before ICTY are war criminals”. He added that, according to public reactions to verdicts in war crimes cases, he could conclude that all people defended their “heroes” who were perceived as war criminals by the opposite side.

“This is the main reason why RECOM should be supported. RECOM gathers victims, who are able to overcome national identities, to offer a hand to each other, and say that it is important for them that their family members are found, that the states need to cooperate on the issue of missing persons and prosecution of individuals responsible for these crimes”, Svilanović said.  He thinks that victims need to put pressure on politicians in the region to cooperate.

“It is important for us to finally have information about the number of people who were killed, who those people were, under which circumstances they died, and to establish the responsibility of individuals who committed, organized or incited crimes”, Svilanović concluded

Žarko Korać, President of the Social Democratic Union, Riza Haljimi (Riza Halimi), a member of the Parliament and the President of the Democratic Action Party, Judita Popović, Vice President of the Parliament of Serbia, Rada Trajković, leader of the United Serb List, mayors of Valjevo, Pančevo, Bujanovac, Subotica, Preševo, Sombor, Zaječa, etc, also gave their signatures of support.