A book entitled “What Did They Do Wrong/ Šta su skrivile?” authored by Nikola Borković, a historian, containing extensive data and testimonies about the humanitarian catastrophe and the deaths of 12 babies in the Banjaluka Clinical Centre in May and June in 1992, due to lack of oxygen, was promoted in the Banski Dvor Cultural Centre in Banjaluka on Wednesday evening.
Borković told the press that the biggest of the numerous controversies about this tragedy was the inscription in front of the 12 Stars Memorial in Banjaluka that reads “the oxygen delivery was banned under the decision by the UN Security Council banning flights over BiH”.
He stressed that Serbia was the only country, which wanted to help at the time, but the flight was not allowed under the Resolution 757 by the UN Security Council, which imposed sanctions on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Borković said that oxygen could have been delivered by any other European country, if they only wanted, because Banjaluka was not subjected to the sanctions.
“There was no flight ban in BiH airspace at the time. It was enforced in October 1992, and its implementation in March 1993,” said Borković.
According to him, the extent of this tragedy would have been much greater without the solidarity of the Banjaluka residents and organisations’ assistance during the great humanitarian crisis in 1992.
The residents, as well as numerous organisations such as the Red Cross and Caritas, were providing industrial oxygen.
“This book speaks about the war period and the heroes behind the front line, about 12 little martyrs, doctors, pilots, journalists and people who were helping,” said Borković.
Head of the Republika Srpska Research Centre of War, War Crimes and Tracing Missing Persons Milorad Kojić said the book was a document and a lasting clue that the international community ignored all appeals for help.
Kojic stated this book was authentic, based on facts, evidence, and testimonials of 11 out of 12 mothers of babies.
“Everything written in the book is supported by evidence,” Kojić said.
Secretary of the 12 Babies Association and the mother of one of the babies, Zeljka Tubić, thanked Borković for leaving a written trace about this tragedy.
“The written word remains for generations that will seek and read the truth,” said Tubić.
The first baby died on May 22, 1992 due to the lack of oxygen, followed by agony and the deaths of other babies.
By June 19, 1992, 12 babies died in Banjaluka, who have become a symbol of human rights violation and inhumanity of the international community.
The thirteenth baby Sladjana Kobaš lost her battle for life at the age of 14, and the fourteenth baby Marko Medaković sustained long term damages over the lack of oxygen.