Serbia: 68,000 Weapons were Handed Over to authorities

Southeast Europe | June 5, 2023, Monday // 11:20|  views

The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, announced that within the framework of a voluntary arms surrender campaign, around 68,000 firearms and explosive devices were handed over, reported Serbian public television RTS, quoted by BTA.

Vucic stressed that the campaign for voluntary surrender of weapons was the most successful in the history of the Serbian police and called on people to continue to hand over their weapons until June 8.

The campaign was announced after a 13-year-old student shot dead eight students and a security guard at a Belgrade school and wounded six other children and a teacher on May 3. A girl later died of her injuries in hospital, bringing the death toll to ten. A day later, a twenty-year-old man shot randomly at people in two villages south of Belgrade, killing eight people and injuring 14.

Vucic explained that prevention could not prevent the problem of mass murder.

"Everything that needed to be done, the police did. There is no one in the world who would blame their police, and especially no one who would blame the government. Never anywhere in the world have there been such and such irresponsible politicians to call for a protest because of a mass murder," he commented on the fifth consecutive anti-government protest on Saturday under the title "Serbia against violence".

The weekly protests, organized by part of the Serbian opposition, began as a reaction to the two mass murders that shook Serbia in early May. Tens of thousands of Serbs protested in Belgrade on Saturday against the violence and leadership of President Aleksandar Vucic. Protesters also carried a hanging doll of the president.

In response to this provocation, Vucic said that his job as president is to tolerate such things and that he receives over 200 direct death threats daily.

"We need to set some frameworks in which we all move together and (decide) how and in what way to calm down the situation and unite on the important issues, how to work to advance our country," stressed Vucic.

When asked if a transitional government would be formed, as demanded by the opposition, the Serbian president replied that it would not come to that.

"The government will be formed in accordance with the election results. There will be no transitional government as long as I am president and as long as I am alive, because my presidential mandate can be interrupted as was proposed (at the protest) before the People's Assembly," Vucic said.

He also indicated that he would never allow the Minister of Internal Affairs, Bratislav Gasic, to be replaced, which is what the protesters are demanding.

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Tags: weapons, Serbia, Vucic, shooting


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