Monday, January 6, 2014

Memorial service held for Serb victims in Kravica

1/5/2014 7:11:00 PM

BANJA LUKA - A memorial service was held at the Church of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul in the village of Kravica near Bratunac on Sunday, honoring the 158 Serbs who were killed by the Muslim forces in that area during the 1992-93 civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH).

The service was held in remembrance of the second attack that the Muslim forces of the then BiH Army mounted on Kravica, which took place on Orthodox Christmas, January 7, 1993. After the memorial service, a commemoration event was held near the monument in the centre of Kravica, which is dedicated to 3,267 Serbs that were murdered in the region of Birac in Republika Srpska (RS). Velimir Dunjic, chairman of the sub-committee tasked with marking significant historical events, laid wreaths at the monument and paid tribute to the victims on behalf of the RS government. Members of veteran associations, association of the families of the fallen soldiers and missing civilians from Srebrenica, Bratunac and Zvornik, and representatives of the municipality of Bratunac also laid wreaths and paid respects to the victims.

 The Muslim forces of the BiH Army from Srebrenica, under the command of Naser Oric, attacked the village of Kravica on Orthodox Christmas, January 7, 1993, which was then defended just by the village guard. In that attack, 49 people were killed, some of them had just come out the church after the Christmas liturgy, and 82 were injured. 

 The victims of the massacre, besides members of the village guard, were also children and the elderly. Vladimir Gajic was just a four-year-old boy, Novica Bogicevic was fourteen-years old, and Vladimir Stojanovic, 78, Risto Popovic, 73, and Mara Bozic, 84, were also killed. 690 houses and accompanying facilities were set ablaze, the church burnt down, graveyards destroyed, and the Serb property plundered. 

 Around 1,000 people fled their homes in Kravica and three other villages and went across the Drina River to Serbia in the midst of a very cold winter. Commander of the Muslim forces Naser Oric, who was tried before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for his command responsibility, was in July of 2008 cleared of all charges for crimes, arson and destruction of Serb villages in the wider area of Srebrenica in which around 1,300 Serb civilians were killed during the war. Photo Tanjug/Z. Zestic (illustration)

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