An atmosphere of melancholy on Saturday marked the 23rd anniversary of the Bosnian war’s most atrocious and terrifying massacres.
On June 27, 1992, Visegrad, a small town in Bosnia’s east met the brutal force of carnage, Serbian forces raided the town in rampage, annihilating all in their way.
Seventy Muslims were killed in a single charge, women and children were not spared.
Serbian fighters dragged the town’s residents into a large house along the hill, before sealing the surroundings and blocking off all exits, those who managed to find some way out were taken down immediately with rifle fire.
The Serbian forces poured oil all around the house before a lighted matchstick was dropped onto the trail, setting ablaze the house and the residents of the quiet town.
Among those locked up in the chamber of death was a baby who’d only seen the light of day for a single year.
On Saturday, relatives of the victims gathered at the site of the massacre along with the Women Victims of War Association.
Esad Tufekcic, whose two young children and wife were burnt alive, was among those paying tribute to their loved ones. His eyes, hidden behind the strong apparent lines extending all the way to his cheeks that have come too early, look teary and deep with the wounds of the war which was beyond the realm of morality or ethics.
‘‘What happened here was a tragedy that the human mind cannot understand,’’ said Tufekcic.
‘‘I still do not understand how a human being could burn a mother with her child in her arms,’’ he added.
President of the Association of Women Victims of War, Bakira Hasecic said a monument to pay homage to those who have lost their lives and symbolic of the brutal experiences that the residents of this town have subsisted will be placed in the town square as part of the 23rd anniversary.
Some of the victims relatives complain that the International Crımınal Court and the National Court Bosnia and Herzegovina have not done enough to ease their pain nor have they brought justice home. So far, only eight Serb soldiers have been sentenced to prison for the crimes committed at Visegrad.
Among the criminals, only one has been sentenced to life in prison, Milan Lukic, the rest have been given a sentence varying between 8 to 30 years.
Many Serb soldiers, believed to have had an active role in the brutal massacre of 1992, have not yet stood in the face of a judge.
Earlier this month, Bosnia and Herzegovina honoured the memory of thousands of innocent non-Serbian civilians who were massacred in Prijedor in the 90’s for ‘White Ribbons Day.’
Thousands of Bosnian residents came together in various cities to mark the 23rd anniversary of the massacre with white ribbons wrapped around their arms, including in Prijedor and other large cities like Sarajevo.