WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • Grabar-Kitarovic also held a bilateral meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres ahead of the UN Conference “Women in Power.” She focused on Bosnia and Herzegovina in her meeting.
  • Guterres also met members of the organization Mothers of Srebrenica Radovan Karadzic’s sentencing in the Hague. Guterres said he would visit the memorial site on the 25th anniversary of the genocide.
  • VoA: “Srebrenica Survivors Hope Karadzic Gets Life Sentence“: “Survivors of Bosnia’s Srebrenica massacre said Monday they hoped a U.N. court would sentence convicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic to life in jail when he receives his final verdict next week.More than 23 years after the mass killings in Srebrenica, in which nearly 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb forces, the former Bosnian Serb political leader will hear a final ruling on appeal March 20.In 2016, Karadzic was convicted of genocide for his role in the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre and sentenced to 40 years by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).”
  • ISIS ReturneesBosnia is preparing to take back two of its nationals who are suspected of fighting for Islamic State in Syria and are now in detention in a Kurdish-run camp in the north of that country, its security minister said on Monday.”
  • In the Neighborhood: Tiffany Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump,is in Belgrade, Serbia for her Spring Break from Georgetown Law School. It is unclear why she is in Serbia, but the Daily Mail reports that she may spend up to eleven days in the Serbian capital. 
  • President of North Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov is refusing to sign 11 bills because he “always acted in accordance with the solemn oath that he would protect the constitution and defend the interest of the Republic of Macedonia,” not North Macedonia. 
  • Bulgarian President Rumen Radev was in Ljubljana on Monday to meet with his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor. Their talks focused on the Western Balkans and increasing cooperation between the two states.
  • Serbia will hold a special religious prayer and military parade on the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the NATO bombings. President Aleksandar Vucic said: “It’s been 20 years since NATO’s aggression on one sovereign country, which was not guided only by bombs from the air, it was done almost by any means – political, media…Serbia, despite the fact that it was not conducting the smartest and the wisest of policies, did nothing to deserve that and is not responsible for NATO’s aggression.”
  • European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Policy Johannes Hahn said he was “surprised” that the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted in favor of a public guarantee for a bank loan from China’s Exim Bank.
  • United Macedonian President Metodija Koloski testified before the US House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. Read his statement here.
  • The Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe Dunja Mijatovic met with senior Bosnian officials to discuss improving quality education. She pushed for a school system that is multi-ethnic and inclusive.
  • Report: “Kosovo ‘knowlingly’ deported wrong man to Turkey.”   
  • North Macedonia has refuted rumors that there will be an exchange of statues between itself and Greece after the Prespa Agreement was signed. 

BEYOND THE POLITICS