Serbia’s Bosniak Council Accused of Celebrating Separatism
The Bosnian National Council in Serbia has been criticized on Tuesday to announce that it will mark the centenary of the adoption of the Sjenica Declaration, a 1917 document, which called for the secession of the region of Sandzak, with a Muslim majority in Serbia and -Montenegro.
“The Sjenica conference [where the declaration was adopted] is a historic event that has great importance in the Bosnian struggle in Sandzak for the survival and realization of their rights,” the Bosnian National Council said in a statement June 1.
The Council, headed by former minister and leader of the Sandzak Democratic Action Party, Sulejman Ugljanin, announced a contest for a musical composition “inspired by the Sjenica Declaration” and a call for the participation of potential participants “international scientific conference” What happens at Sjenica in October.
The themes of the conference include “crimes, persecutions and political processes in Sandzak in the twentieth century” and the Sandzak vision as a “cross-border European region,” he said.
The original Sjenica conference, now a municipality in southern Serbia, was held from 8 to 25 August 1917.
Local Muslim leaders who voted in favor of a declaration by the region of Sandzak, between Serbia and Montenegro, to join Bosnia and Herzegovina met.
The decision of the Bosnian National Council to commemorate the occasion has sparked criticism from politicians in rival Muslim Serbia.
The President of the Human Rights and Minorities Council of the Serbian Assembly, Meho Omerovic, said on Tuesday that Ugljanin “abusing his position” and would harm the Bosnians.
“This man takes us in the past. His actions discourage all potential investors in Sandzak,” Omerovic, a member of the Social Democratic Party of Serbia, said in a press release.
He described the movement of Ugljanin a “provocation” and an “abuse of the Bosnian National Council.”
Council officials were not available for comment.
Serbia’s Minister of Commerce, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic also criticized the proposed celebration.
“I think Sandzak needs economic and social development, more jobs, not a return to the past. This is the future we should consider,” said Ljajic Blic.