World Bulletin / News Desk
Bosnian Muslims have voted down a bid to put a Serb mayor in control of Srebrenica for the first time since the massacre of 8,000 Muslims in the town by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995.
Once predominantly Muslim, Srebrenica was the site of the worst mass killing on European soil since World War Two, when Bosnian Serb forces killed Muslim men and boys near the end of the country's 1992-95 war.
A Bosnian Serb party, which rejects a United Nations ruling that the Srebrenica killings constituted genocide, launched a bid to win the post of mayor in the local election on Oct. 7.
Many Bosniaks saw the prospect of a Serb mayor taking control as a threat to their efforts to keep the memory of the crime alive and to the status of a memorial complex where more than 5,600 victims of the massacres are interred.
Camil Durakovic, the Bosniak candidate, led the drive to register some 2,000 absent voters, and a final vote count at the weekend showed him to be the victor.
"If it wasn't for this registration of voters, I would have never won," Durakovic told Reuters. "From today, I'll be the mayor of all citizens of Srebrenica."
A coalition of Serb parties has complained of irregularities and urged a partial repeat of the vote.
"The decision as to who will run the town for the next four years was brought by people who don't live there," said Rajko Vasic, a senior member of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats led by Milorad Dodik, leader of Bosnia's autonomous Serb Republic.
Barely 15 percent of the town's 27,600 pre-war Muslim residents, known as Bosniaks, has been able to return to the town. Many of the others are scattered across Bosnia and around the world.
In previous years, those Bosniaks were allowed to vote in Srebrenica, but they were banned from doing so this year.
'As many as 30,000 newly displaced individuals may arrive in Makhmur over the coming weeks as the military offensive continues,' UNHCR says
'There has been a dramatic increase in detention of children since October 2015,' says UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokeswoman
Report says most violations came during Jewish holiday of Passover
The talks will focus on 'how the conditions for a continuation of the peace talks in Geneva can be met, as well as how a reduction of violence and an improvement in the humanitarian situation in Syria can be achieved'
European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation EU, will say Turkey must still implement further measures in order to access the passportless Schengen area without visas by June
Kosovo Football Federation president Fadil Vokrri said it was a 'historic moment'
Longstanding cement ban has prevented thousands of Gazans from rebuilding homes destroyed in Israel’s 2014 military onslaught
Villages in the Central African Republic are taking the battle into their own hands using donated radios and satellites to combat LRA rebels
On Tuesday, as lawmakers begin to examine the bill, unions and student organisations are expected to hold another demonstration at the National Assembly.
The Canadian media tycoon turned politician said family obligations forced him to resign as head of Parti Québécois less than a year after being elected
Bank says $20 million could have been made in S&P 500 futures trading alone
Analyst warns Iraq's Shia parties are divided after followers of Muqtada al-Sadr occupied parliament
Attack comes day after 36 people are killed by twin car bombings in Iraq's southern city of Al-Samawah
We agreed the G7 should send a strong signal in this sense,' Japanese PM says after talks with his Italian counterpart
'France forcefully condemns the (Damascus) regime's attacks that have caused many casualties (and) calls on the supporters of the regime... to use their influence on Damascus to silence the weapons,' foreign ministry says
Khartoum has stepped up its claim to the territories after Egypt transferred two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia