Bosnia to bid farewell to 86 more war victims

By Vesna Besic and Talha Ozturk

BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – Bosnia and Herzegovina will bid farewell to the recently identified victims of as many as 86 people during the 1992 Prijedor massacre.

Every year in July, newly identified victims of the massacre are buried in their village cemeteries after a collective funeral ceremony.

This year’s ceremony will see relatives of the victims and a large number of citizens gathered at the Poljana Stadium near Prijedor, a northwestern Bosnian town.

Tefik Kulasic, who will bury his brother Abaza on Saturday, said that his brother was held in the concentration camp and they could never found all the pieces of his body.

"We found out where my brother was killed in 2003. It's a shame that we haven't found all of his body," said Kulasic.

Samir Garibovic, Emin Djonlagic and Suad Klajic are the youngest victims among 86. They were 19-years-old when they were killed.

Becir Besic, on the other hand, is the oldest victim to be buried at Saturday’s funeral. He was 61-years-old when he was killed.

Prijedor was the site of numerous war crimes carried out against Bosniak civilians by Bosnian Serb forces during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. The Prijedor massacre claimed a total of 5,209 Bosniaks and Croats, including 4,093 civilians.

Also on May 31, 1992, the Serbian administration in Prijedor issued an order to the non-Serb population to wear white stripes on their arms when they leave their houses, an order followed by extermination, murder, and persecution.

Most of the killings took in the period between May and August 1992.

Between April 1992 and December 1995, an estimated 100,000 people were killed and 2.2 million displaced in Bosnia. Up to 50,000 women, mostly Bosniak, were raped.

The Bosnian War was sparked by the break-up of Yugoslavia, which led Bosnia to declare its independence in February 1992.

Its capital Sarajevo came under attack from Bosnian Serb militias, backed by the Yugoslav army, in what became the longest siege in modern history.