Bosnian Activists Urge Memorial for Sarajevo Siege Killings

Sarajevo, winter of 1992-1993 | Wikimedia

The Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina said on Thursday that it has begun to collect signatures for a petition urging Sarajevo City Council to build a memorial to commemorate the victims of the wartime killings at Kazani, near the capital.

Muhamed Tucakovic of the YIHR said that the council passed a decision back in 2012 to construct a memorial, but the decision has never been implemented.

“We consider it very important to honour the victims in a dignified manner and see that as one of the foundations for the reconciliation process,” Tucakovic told BIRN.

Nicolas Moll, a historian who works on the issue of dealing with the past, will give a lecture about the crimes at Kazani on Thursday in Sarajevo. Afterwards, YIHR activists will go to the killing site to highlight what happened there.

“We are aware that, even though 25 years have passed since the commission of the crimes at Kazani, the victims have still not been honoured in a dignified manner and many citizens of the capital of our state are not familiar with the crime,” the YIHR said in a statement.

“We think that all civilian victims of the 1990s war deserve a memorial. We hereby call on Sarajevo City Council to implement its decision from 2012, in which it committed to building the memorial,” it added.

Kazani is an inaccessible location on Mount Trebevic, where Serb and Croat civilians were brought and killed during the siege of Sarajevo. Their bodies were then thrown into a deep pit.

The number of people killed at Kazani has not yet been officially determined. After the war, the remains of 23 victims, 15 of whom have been identified, were exhumed from the pit over the course of several excavations.

Several members of the Tenth Mountain Brigade of the Bosnian Army have been convicted of the murders at Kazani.

In March this year, the Union of Camp Prisoners of Republika Srpska, Bosnia's Serb-dominated entity, launched an initiative to erect a memorial cross on Kazani, where a number of Serbs from Sarajevo were killed during the war.

Source: BIRN