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Twenty four years since the suffering of Serbs from the villages of Krepsic and Vucilovac, Brcko municipality, who were killed by HVO members from Orasje and neighbouring Croatia, were marked today by holding the memorial service for the fallen soldiers and civilian victims of the Defensive and Patriotic War from the villages mentioned above, including the fallen soldiers of the Celinac and Kozarska Dubica Brigades of the Republika Srpska Army /VRS/.
According to President of the Republika Srpska War Veterans Association Celinac, Dalibor Vujicic, 70 soldiers of Celinac Brigade and 53 soldiers of the VRS’ Sixth Brigade from Kozarska Dubica have remained on the Corridor forever, while the six Serb soldiers are still missing.
“We come to the Memorial Church in Krepsic every year to lay wreaths and light candles. We will never let our heroes, who defended freedom with their blood, fade into oblivion. The oblivion is killing the truth. We will not give up the fight for better living standards and living conditions of the families of killed and demobilized soldiers, “said Vujicic.
Petar Popovic, who together with his four fellow soldiers of the Celinac Brigade had been captured, and was only one exchanged alive after six months of torture, has come today to Vucilovac to pay homage to the killed comrades for the first time after December 12, 1992.
“I have experienced and survived severe torture, all the horrors of the camps in Orasje and Osijek in Croatia. Djuro Matuzovic, Pero Vincetic AKA Konj (Horse) and a certain Damir… beat us… they were taking my teeth out with pliers. And they keep saying they are not war criminals. Unspeakable shame,” Popovic told reporters.
Tomka Margetic lost her husband, Marinko, on that sinister December 12, while defending Vucilovac from the attack of the HVO (the Croatian Defence Council) units.
“When the exchange took place, only his body was decapitated among 25 dead. Today, those who did it or ordered it say they did not commit any crime. Who decapitated my husband? It cannot be that he did it to himself?! It is clear the Croats from Orasje, who the court has recently released, did it. Well, there were no crimes committed there, only the Serbs are usual suspects,” Tomka says with a trembling voice, wiping her tears.
On this occasion, on behalf of the local board of the BORS Vucilovac, Pero Margetic, thanked everyone who came to lay wreaths and light candles at the memorial in the centre of the village.
“Twenty –six soldiers of the Celinac Brigade and eight Vucilovac residents were killed on this day 24 years ago. Four soldiers had been captured, but were exchanged dead from the camp in Mahala,” Margetic told reporters.
As he stated, there used to live 700 residents in 240 houses before the war in Vucilovac, but there are no more than 150 villagers today.
“When we first came to the village after the war, we found completely destroyed cemetery. A number of graves were dug with no remains in it. These days the entire Croatia is disputing the fact that the members of their units committed crimes. We are here today to witness that they did but, unfortunately, have never been held responsible for it, “said president of the local community Vucilovac, Ljubisa Ostojic.
Representatives of the Serb political parties, MPs and officials from the ranks of the Serb people, as well as Brcko Mayor, Sinisa Milic, attended the laying of wreaths and flowers and the memorial service served by the priests from Brcko.