Europe

Bosnia marks 26 years since Sarajevo market bombing

Children should know what happened 26 years ago, says Bosnian Croat President Zeljko Komsic

Mustafa Talha Öztürk   | 05.02.2020
Bosnia marks 26 years since Sarajevo market bombing

BELGRADE, Serbia  

Bosnians gathered Tuesday to commemorate the 26th anniversary of a massacre which took the lives of 68 people and injured nearly 150.

The 1994 Markale marketplace shelling was one of the biggest massacres committed during the siege of Sarajevo from April 1992 to December 1995.

Family members, victims, as well as survivors paid tribute, laid wreaths and prayed for the dead.

The ceremony was also attended by Croat chairman of the Council of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zeljko Komsic.

Komsic at the ceremony stressed the importance of bringing children to such commemoration ceremonies, and said the children should know about what happened 26 years ago.

Hasan Banda, a survivor of the massacre, said the screams he heard that day are still in his ears and he can never forget what he saw.

Bulka Suljkic, who lost his cousin in the massacre, said not only the relatives of the victims but all Sarajevo people should attend the commemoration ceremonies.

Meanwhile, Senida Karovic, president of the Association of Civil Victims of the War, pointed out that the criminals and victims have been brought to an equal position each day.

"Serbs living in our country refute the massacres, do not accept the decisions made by the court in The Hague. The real truth is we witnessed what happened," said Karovic.

Another commemoration program was organized at the National Theater to honor the victims.

On Aug. 28, 1995, a second mortar exploded in the main market square, killing 43 people and wounding 75.

War crimes

The shelling is among the crimes former Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic was found guilty of committing during his trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The UN court in The Hague also sentenced former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic to life in prison for his part in spreading terror among civilians in the capital of Sarajevo and in other parts of Bosnia, in an attempt to clear non-Serbs from certain territories.

He was also found to have had "significant responsibility" for the 1995 genocide of over 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.

For the Markale massacre, the court also sentenced Dragoslav Milosevic, commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska, to 29 years in prison, among other charges.

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