The 24th anniversary of the deaths of 14 Serbs from the village of Zagoni was marked with lighting of candles and laying of flowers to the main memorial – a cross at the Bratunac municipal cemetery on Tuesday.
The victims were killed by the Muslim troops from Srebrenica on July 5, 1992.
Apart from the surviving members of the families of the killed and several current residents of Zagoni, flowers to the memorial cross were also laid by a delegation of the Association of Families of Detained and Fallen Veterans and Missing Civilians from Bratunac.
The victims’ families remembered the tragic day and horrific crime in Zagoni, for which no one has yet been brought to justice and which must never be forgotten, even though it is now useless to even mention it as the judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina neither pays attention nor prosecutes the crimes against Serbs.
“We repeat once again that we resent the inaction and hypocrisy of the BiH Prosecutor’s Office and Court who have never prosecuted anyone for this or countless other crimes committed in Podrinje against the Serbs and have thus sent a clear message that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a safe country for the criminals of Bosniak ethnicity,” said Radojka Filipovic, head of the Association of Fallen Veterans and Civilians and Missing Persons.
The case file regarding the killings of Serbs in Zagoni has been kept by the Prosecutor’s Office for eight years now, said Filipovic, pointing out that the prosecutors intentionally obstruct this and five other cases against the Serbs in Bratunac.
Filipovic claims that by stating that the statute of limitations never expires for war crimes, the prosecutors intentionally put such cases out of sight and wait for time to pass, witnesses to die, material evidence to disappear, and the perpetrators of the monstrous crimes to live and die free.
“One of the horrendous crimes of the Army of BiH was the crime committed against civilians who worked the fields in Zagoni. This is corroborated by the fact that five-year-old Vladimir Gajic and 90-year-old Mara Bozic were killed in 1992 today. The crime against the Zagoni Serbs, as well as all other crimes committed in the villages around here prove the clear intentions of the /so-called/ Army of BiH to commit genocide against the Serbs because they killed everyone, not sparing the children or the elderly,” said Filipovic.
Radomir Gvozdenovic survived the Muslim raid in Zagoni, but his sister Rada and her son Aleksandar Milosevic, who was only 3.5 years old, were caught alive.
“It was peaceful. The people were in the fields gathering hay when we heard shots and uproar and gunmen shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘Slaughter them alive!’ around 3 pm. They stormed the village killing everyone and destroying everything, and smashing hard objects on dead people’s heads,” recounts Radomir.
He says that the bed-ridden old lady Mileva Dimitric was massacred with a scythe. Some other people were too.
“Half an hour later I was unable to recognise my own sister Rada. She was cut into pieces,” Radomir remembered bitterly, adding that the criminals took it out on women, cutting off their breasts and killing them with dozens of stabs inflicted with sharp objects.
His brother Tatomir went to high school at the time. He says his murdered, massacred sister Rada had been dressed in a t-shirt, shorts and slippers. She had only finished high school and being the best student in her generation – no threat to anyone, was still murdered in the backyard overlooking their house.
Tatomir says that Muslims from the neighbouring village Budak aimed their artillery at Zagoni, yelling that the villagers running away from the fields be targeted.
“For years we’ve been saying that no one has answered for the crime against the Zagoni Serbs and that there is no justice. We never threatened or attacked anyone. They attacked us and looted the whole village, burnt it and killed us only because we are Serbs. No one has been brought to justice and that is sad, but God’s justice catches up with everyone and so it will catch up with the ones who committed these crimes here,” said Tatomir.
Among the killed were five women, while Mihajlo Mihajlovic is still listed missing.
Attacks on Zagoni continued until St. Peter’s Day /July 12/ that year, when the Muslim troops switched their focus on the Serb villages east of Srebrenica, where they continued to commit crimes against the population in Zalazje, Sase, Biljaca, and some other smaller villages, levelling them to the ground.
In Gornji Zagoni, where this particular crime was committed, nine houses were reconstructed after the war with only nine widows returned.