An indictment against the UN has not been issued since no conditions have been met for Republika Srpska to file charges against the UN Security Council, and the parents of the babies who died do not have financial resources to do so… Sladjana Kobas was 13 years and six months old and underwent 12 serious surgeries before she died ten years ago in Banjaluka. She was one of the surviving Banjaluka babies, who lost their battle for life – from May 22 to June 19, 1992 – due to the lack of oxygen in incubators.
Twelve newborn babies died because the corridor was closed and oxygen for incubators could not have been delivered.
Fighting numerous health issues, Sladjana Kobas underwent numerous surgeries, had lung problems, and finally contracted a bone cancer.
She was treated in Republika Srpska, Serbia, Montenegro, Russia and the US. Several weeks before she died, she should have left for the US for treatment, but her condition seriously worsened and she died.
The mother of one of the babies, Zeljka Tubic, says that the pain for the loss of the newborn baby cannot be forgotten and stresses that the public should be reminded more of the sufferings of these innocent babies.
“Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik had the most understanding for us so far, and the present Prime Minister Zeljka Cvijanovic, who did much for us, mothers,” said Tubic, who is working part time as the secretary of the Twelve Babies Association.
She said that the mothers of 12 babies enjoy minimal privileges as civilian victims of war, and stressed that they are working to get the status they deserve since their children were declared heroes.
“The corridor of life is named after our children, but at least towns from which we, mothers, come, if not all towns in Srpska, should have a street named ‘12 little stars’,” Tubic said.
Tubic explained that the indictment against the UN has not been issued because conditions have not been met for Republika Srpska to file charges against the UN Security Council.
“Mothers do not have financial resources to file charges,” Tubic said.
In memory of 12 babies, the sculpture called Life was built in the centre of Banjaluka which is a reminder of all children killed in the past war.
The 12 babies died for the lack of oxygen in the Banjaluka hospital in 1992, when Banjaluka was separated from the eastern part of Republika Srpska and Serbia and oxygen could not have been delivered to the Banjaluka hospital.
The no-flight zone above BiH imposed by the UN Security Council was in force at the time.
Even though the Srpska authorities appealed to the Security Council to approve a flight to deliver oxygen, the plea was rejected, which resulted in the deaths of 12 babies in the period from May 22 to June 19, 1992.
The first baby died on May 22, after which the agony and the deaths of the remaining babies followed, while the “13th star,” Sladjana Kobas, died 13 years later.
The surviving 14th baby lives with serious physical and mental impairment.
The agony ended when a corridor was created and when the Banjaluka region was connected to other parts of Republika Srpska and Serbia.