A Serbian Association “Women in Black” organised a gathering titled “We remember the beginning of the siege of Sarajevo – the beginning of war in BiH” at the Knez Mihajlova street, with a performance of silent presence where they stand silently while holding signs.
“The war in BiH was the bloodiest armed conflict in Europe since World War II, leaving behind nearly 100,000 dead, 2 million displaced persons, and more than 20,000 women survivors of war rape. The siege of Sarajevo lasted 1,475 days and was the longest siege of a city in modern history. Over 11,000 adults and more than 1,600 children were killed during the siege. More than 480,000 missiles were fired at the city… Slobodan Milosevic's regime provided political, logistical, military and any other support to Bosnian Serbs, even though officially ‘Serbia was not at war’. The bombs dropped on Sarajevo were produced in Serbia, people from Serbia participated in the war en masse as volunteers… Many representatives of the current government in Serbia, including Aleksandar Vucic, actively participated in that policy,” said “Women in Black.”
They noted that “the war that officially ended with the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords is not really over for either the victims or the survivors, and that peace does not only mean the absence of conflict but the establishment of justice.”
“However, only a small number of victims of the war in BiH have received justice – judicial justice. Most victims are still searching for justice, while the authorities of Serbia (which is most responsible for the war in BiH) are doing everything so that justice would not be served,” said the association.
The Association also stated a number of demands to Serbian authorities:
– the state of Serbia must cease interfering in the internal affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina and providing active support to Milorad Dodik, whose policy destabilizes the entire region;
– the President and Prime Minister of Serbia and all other representatives of the state must respect the court-established facts about the war in BiH and stop denying (the Srebrenica) genocide and all other war crimes in BiH,
– the State must stop glorifying and rehabilitating convicted war criminals and establish the criminality of denying genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes by law,
– instead of obstructing trials before the Special Court, fair and efficient proceedings must be conducted against those responsible for war crimes,
– all countries from the region must establish regional cooperation to efficiently process war crimes and eliminate the consequences of war.
“We remember the siege of Sarajevo, we remember the crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina! We express solidarity and compassion for the victims! “We will continue to persistently ask questions about the crimes committed in our name,” the “Women in Black” association said.
Monday marked the beginning of the siege of Bosnia's capital which began on April 5, 1992.
The 44-month siege lasted until February 29, 1996. Some 12,000 people were killed during this time, including more than 1,500 children, and 50,000 people were wounded. More than ten thousand planes landed at and took off from the Sarajevo International Airport throughout this time, delivering humanitarian aid, UN forces and transporting wounded civilians for treatment.