Veterans that were once in war gather to honour victims of Strpci massacre

NEWS 28.02.2020 12:07
Source: CNA

A group of veterans representing armies that once waged war gathered on Thursday to pay respect to murdered civilians, who were taken from a passenger train near Bosnian eastern town Visegrad in February 1993, months after the 1992-95 Bosnian war started.

“We gathered here in Prijepolje (Montenegro) along with a mixed group of veterans, practically representing all armies that had taken part in the wars on the territory of ex-Yugoslavia, to pay respect to the victims who were kidnapped from the train in Strpci, an anniversary that is marked today in Prijepolje. We're here to show solidarity with the families of the victims and their friends as well as the whole local community that was affected by that crime,” said Amer Delic, a war veteran, ex-member of what was called the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“We're also here, together, to convey a message and say it is possible to overcome the conflicts and hostilities, and the only way to achieve that is dialogue and building trust,” he added.

The war crime dubbed the Strpci massacre took place on February 27, 1993, at Strpci train station near the eastern Bosnian town Visegrad. Nineteen non-Serb civilians were murdered after they were taken off the train going from Belgrade to the Montenegrin town Bar.

Members of ‘Avengers’ (‘Osvetnici’) military unit, commanded by Milan Lukic, with the logistical support of the Republic of Serbia, were found responsible for the abduction.

So far, the remains of only four victims were found and the rest are still missing.

“It is sad that such a crime had happened at all. Our message is that such a crime, especially involving civilians, must happen never again to anyone,” said Djoko Pupcevic, a wartime member of former Bosnian Serb army, who recalled that these were only innocent civilians on their daily commute from work, who were not involved with any military unit.

“I particularly call everyone, from this spot and this point of view, as a veteran of the Republika Srpska Army, those who know where were the victims’ remains buried to say it, for their families to feel relief and have a place where to grieve their loved ones,” he said.

The commemoration was held under auspices of the Centre for Nonviolent Action (CNA), a peace organisation that has been organising the meetings of veterans from Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia since 2008 and their visits to the sites of suffering across the region.