Sarajevans gathered on Wednesday to lay wreaths and read out the names of the 68 civilians that died when on that date 26 years ago the Army of Republika Srpska fired a 120 mm shell on the busy Markale marketplace which resulted in one of the two biggest massacres in occupied Sarajevo.
The shell struck the marketplace in Sarajevo’s centre little after noon on February 5, 1994. Apart from killing the 68 civilians, it injured another 144.
The shell was fired from the Mrkovici village between 12:10 pm and 12:20 pm. Numerous citizens and UN rescue workers and personnel immediately rushed to help the victims.
During the commemorative ceremony at the Sarajevo National Theatre, a man named Jasmin Saljic stood up from his seat after Sarajevo Assembly Speaker Mirza Celik said that the victims died and yelled at the speaker. Saljic said that Sarajevo officials are avoiding to say how the victims died and who killed them.
“We have to know who was killing us, who killed these people. Was it the chetniks or did they die in a traffic accident on February 5? Wherever I go no one, neither Mandic, Brcic nor Graboica, no one dares say who was killing us. Who. The aggressor shelled us, the residents didn't kill themselves. Shame on you. This is a denial of a crime and of genocide,” he said.
He then came to the podium and said:
“We went through aggression, we're an internationally recognised country. These are dangerous phrases when one says that the people died, and when the word aggression is avoided. All of a sudden, no one marks the aggressor. Who fired that shell, was it the Army of Republika Srpska or was it us? Are we afraid to say who was killing us, in our own city? This makes no sense, there's no national flag here and yet we heard the national anthem.”
Survivors of the massacre, family members, neighbours, friends and numerous others joined in prayer at Markale on Wednesday, paying their respects to the victims and laying down flowers.