Locals in the eastern Bosnian village of Zalazje, near Srebrenica, are marking the 26th anniversary of the violent deaths of 69 Bosnian Serb civilians who were killed there and in neighboring villages of Sasa, Biljaca, and Zagoni.
“I came here because of my two brothers. My husband and two brothers were killed in the same area,” said Dragica Lazarevic, who brought a rose to the site for her late husband.
She said the remains of the husband were found first on the pavement in front of a local house. Her brothers were found two years ago, in a pile of garbage, she said.
“I buried my younger brother without his head,” she said.
She accused former Bosniak General Naser Oric of the crimes, stressing that nobody is facing justice for the crimes committed against ethnic Serbs in Bosnia.
Oric was acquitted of those crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia but many Serbs still perceive him as guilty and believe that court is biased against Serbs.
“Everyone is mentioning 1995, but not what we (local Serbs) had been enduring from 1992 to 1995. Many people don’t know this and the world doesn’t either,” she said.
The Zalazje commemoration is taking place every year a day after Bosniaks mark the 1995 Srebrenica genocide – the systematic killing of some 8,000 Bosniaks by Bosnian Serb forces which is often referred to as the worst crime committed on European soil since WWII.
Prior to the genocide of the Srebrenica Bosniaks, local battles were going on around Srebrenica and the villages around the town in which 22 locals went missing and the remains of ten of them have still not been found.
The ones that were, were found accidentally. Authorities were in 2011 looking for the missing remains of Srebrenica’s Bosniaks when they uncovered the remains of the Zalazje Serbs.
The Zalazje commemoration coincides with the Serb Orthodox religious holiday of Petrovdan.