Mileva Zupic, the mother of three fallen veterans of the Army of Republika Srpska, was buried next to her sons’ graves in the village of Gustovara near Mrkonjic Grad on Sunday.
Minister of Labour and Veteran Policy Milenko Savanovic has said that today was buried a heroine who carried herself with dignity for all these years.
“She was aware of the sacrifice, of the tragedy that had happened, she was also aware of the deed, of what her sons died for, for the Serb people and Republika Srpska. She lived a modest life, she didn’t have any special demands, and that proved her greatness,” said Savanovic.
In a statement for the press, the minister thanked Mileva Zupic and wished hear a peaceful and eternal memory.
Miladin Dragicevic, an envoy of the Srpska president, said that what Mileva Zupic had given for Republika Srpska was immeasurable.
“She carried a burden on her back for 22 years after her sons’ deaths; she had given everything she had for Republika Srpska. I first met her during the shooting of the film ‘Children’ and it occurred to me how she was carrying that burden and that grief,” said Dragicevic and on behalf of the Srpska president wished her to rest in peace.
Dusko Miletic, the chair of the Presidency of the Srpska Veterans Association, thanked the University Clinical Centre of Republika Srpska and Miroslav Zotovic Institute for doing all they could to make Mileva’s last days more bearable.
“Even the skies above Mrkonjic Grad are crying over the destiny of the mother we buried today next to her three sons. To make this grief even worse, the mother never saw justice, none of the perpetrators of the crimes committed in Mrkonjic Grad in 1995, including those against her sons, have ever been convicted,” said Miletic.
Mileva’s cousins say she was a quiet, modest and solitary woman.
“She lived a quiet and modest life. She was easy going, she never insulted anyone. She was known to say: ‘God, if only one of my sons were alive,’ and ‘I wish to see someone answer for the crimes,’” said Mileva’s sister Bosa Gvero.
Prayers for Mileva Zupic were read out also in the village church of Sts Peter and Paul the Apostles. After the burial, Priest Bosko Roljic, who compared Mileva with Mother Jugovic and Stojanka Majka Knezopoljka, spoke about her and prayed for her soul.
Despite the bad weather and heavy rain, the burial was attended by many people from the area.
Mileva Zupic passed away two days ago after a short illness. She was 81.
She was one of 36 mothers and fathers in Republika Srpska who lost three children in the defence and homeland war.
Her sons Zeljko, Zivko and Stevan Zupic were killed on October 10, 1995 during the occupation of Mrkonjic Grad. Mileva didn’t have any more children and none of her sons had been married, so she hadn’t had any grandchildren.