A memorial service for 158 Serb civilians and soldiers from Bratunac and the surrounding villages killed in the recent war, 49 of whom were murdered by Muslim forces from Srebrenica and the Bratunac villages on Christmas Day, January 7, 1993, was held on Tuesday in the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Kravica, near Bratunac.
The candles have been lit for the repose of souls of the victims and the present delegations have laid flowers at the central memorial in Kravica dedicated to 3,267 Serbs from the Birac region who were killed in the defensive-patriotic war.
Flowers were laid by the delegations of the Republika Srpska National Assembly, the Veterans Organisations and the Association of the Families of Captured, Killed Soldiers and Missing Civilians of Republika Srpska, the Srpska Prison Camp Detainees Association and the municipalities and veterans’ organisations of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Milici and Zvornik.
President of the Veterans Organisation of Bratunac, Nebojsa Lukic, has said that the memorial service was held and a homage was paid to the Serb victims who were killed at their homes by their Bosniak neighbors only because they were Serbs.
“Horrific crime they committed on Christmas Day and therefore proved what their relation was to those who celebrate other holidays than theirs”, said Lukic.
He has pointed out his resentment against the hypocrisy of the BiH Prosecutor’s Office and the Court for ignoring Serb victims and the fact that no one has been brought to justice over the numerous crimes committed against the Serbs in the central Podrinje.
Andja Djokanovic, who lost her husband in Kravica 23 years ago, says that detaining suspects for crimes against Serbs, releasing them pending trial and forgetting about them mean nothing to the families of the Serb victims.
“We have lost trust in the BiH judiciary. We expect verdicts to be reached for crimes committed against our family members, most of whom were civilians and murdered in their homes. No more games with our patience. We do not need such a judicial system and it should be abolished as such, and the God’s punishment will reach the criminals, “says Djokanovic.
Continuing with ethnic cleansing and destruction of everything that belonged to the Serbs, which began in April 1992, the Muslim forces from Srebrenica assisted by units from Bratunac, Vlasenica and Zvornik areas, broke into the village of Kravica on Orthodox Christmas Day in 1993, killed 49 and wounded 80 Serb civilians and soldiers, seven persons went missing, five of whom have never been found, not even 23 years later (two women among them).
On that day in Kravica and the surrounding villages, 688 Serb-owned houses, 2,000 auxiliary and 27 public facilities were looted and torched. Approximately 1,000 persons went homeless in a single day and made it to the Drina Rive through the snow drifts, avoiding certain death.
Many were carrying their children in their arms, and 101 children lost one or both parents.
Since the beginning of the war until mid-1995, the Muslim forces from Srebrenica kept constantly breaking into Serb villages around here, Bratunac, Milici, Skelani and Zvornik, killing everything they got hold of, looting and burning Serbian property. The captured ones were tortured, massacred, beheaded and their head were beinh showed off in Srebrenica. There was a case of Nenad Rankic who was roasted on a spit.
Out of fifty Serbs who remained in Srebrenica, only one elderly woman survived while the other one, Ivanka Mirkovic, was found slaughtered on the doorstep in July 1995. Most of the missing persons have not yet been found and exhumed.
The units of Naser Oric expelled and executed the Serb population from Srebrenica and surrounding villages Dugo Polje, Pecista, Kovacica, Gostilj, Gneiona, Osredak, Viogor, Studenac and others at the very beginning of the war.
Afterwards they began to break into remote villages of Srebrenica and Bratunac – Ratkovici, Brezani, Magasici, Zagoni, Zalazje, Sase, Biljaca, Fakovici, Bjelovac, Sikiric, Podravanje, before they broke into Kravica and committed massacre on January 7 and Skelane on January 16, 1993 in which 114 Serbs were murdered, majority of whom were civilians.
Even after declaring Srebrenica a UN safe zone and alleged demilitarization of the Muslim forces, raiding Serb villages from the enclave continued, so except three villages along the Drina River, all the Serb villages in Srebrenica and a large number of villages in the Bratunac municipality (more than 100 villages) were distoyed, and Naser Oric’s units killed 3,000 Serbs, mostly civilians.
Attacks and massacres usually occurred on great Orthodox holidays, such as Christmas, St. Peter’s Day, St. George Day and others.
No one has ever been brought to justice for the crimes against the Serb population in the central Podrinje over 23 years after the war ended, including the crime committed in Kravica on Christmas Day.
The families of killed persons and the Serb people in general are outraged by the injustice carried out by the BiH judiciary, ignoring the sufferings of the Serbs.
Neither the current indictment of the BiH Court against Naser Oric included the Kravica crime nor all other crimes listed above, because it only comes down to the murder of three out of more than three thousand Serbs, who were killed by members of a joint criminal group lead by Oric who commanded all operations related to the expulsion and destruction of Serbs and everything that belonged to the Serbs in the Central Podrinje area.
He was an absolute master of life and death in Srebrenica and its surrounding, Ibran Mustafic, pre-war chairman of the Executive Board of the municipality of Srebrenica and former SDA official, noted in his book “Planned Chaos” .