Last September ICMP (International Commission on Missing Persons) and members of Bosnia´s Institute For Missing Persons revealed that they had finally been establish the location of what later turned out to be one of the biggest mass graves in Europe after World War Two, Tomasica, near Prijedor in North west Bosnia where so far 435 victims have been exhumed. Prior to finding Tomasica the biggest mass grave in Bosnia and Herzegovina was in Crni Vrh in eastern Bosnia, where bodies of 629 Bosniaks were exhumed. Due to the fact that Tomasica mass grave was deep and the soil was mostly clay there has been very little decomposition of bodies which meant that the bodies were mostly intact making the identification process considerably less painstaking then the long and gruelling identification process after Srebrenica genocide where bodies were dug up from primary graves and later re-buried in secondary graves all along the basin of the Drina River.
The victims were laid to rest a week after the burial of 175 newly identified victims of the Srebrenica genocide which took place during the annual commemoration 11 July 1995.
According to Bosnia´s Institute For Missing Persons 283 Bosniaks and one Croat were buried on Sunday in Kozarac near Prijedor, the victims were killed during the pogroms that took place in Prijedor and the surrounding villages in spring and summer of 1992 in wake of the Serb takeover of the town. So far in the Prijedor area, 444 graves have been discovered, 96 of those have been mass graves. Most of the victims buried on Sunday were exhumed from the Tomasica mass grave. The youngest victims from Toamsica was a 13 year old boy; Elvis (Munib) Šarčević while the oldest one was; Salih (Mujo) Kadirić born 1915. According to estimates from the institute, from May 1992 until August 1992 in the area of Prijedor and Kozarac 3.500 people were killed, men, women, and children, so far 2.366 victims have been exhumed and identified.
The final farewell to the victims took place in Kozarac, a town close to Prijedor and like Prijedor it was hard hit by the Serb onslaught in spring and summer of 1992. Denisa Duratović-Hegić who was eight years old when the war started and lost eight relatives spoke at the gathering, saying that “what happened to them must never happen to anyone again” That July on the door step of my uncle´s house I found my murdered mother, they killed my mother and father, Ešef and Zemira, my grandparants, my uncle´s That day they killed my uncle´s sons, that day I found out just how cruel people can be”
Duratović-Hegić also reminded everyone that their neighbours, former school classmates, and all those in who´s name this was done remain silent. Duratović-Hegić pointed out that they were silent back in 1992 too, had they not been silent today her two daughters, Nadija and Amela would be able to go out on walks with my parents and the father of my husband.
Mirsad Duratović from Bišćani was 17 at the time, according to him during the “ethnic cleansing” of Bišćani 20 July 1992 261 civilians were killed, among those some 20 children and under aged people. It took Mirsad Duratović 22 years to finally bury his father, mother brother and 7 more family members. Duratović recalled what happened on that day: “They took them out of our family home and executed all of them. Father and brother right near the house, my grandparents by their house, my aunt was killed in our house, in the where the children slept, my brother and uncle were killed somewhere in the village. I was there; they used me as a human shield during that operation afterwards they took me to concentration camp at Omarska, from Omarska I was transferred to Manjača, from Manjača to Trnopolje and from there to a convoy heading for Travnik.”
For Mirsad there was a sense of relief, “the fear and sense of uncertainty that we would ever find them is gone…”
Hava Tatarevic´s six sons and husband who were also found in Tomasica were buried on Sunday, along with the husband and five sons of Emina Hegić. Hegić´s five sons and husband were identified in April this year. According to Hava, who´s sons and husand were killed during the “ethnic cleansing” of the village Zecovi; on the day they came for her husband and sons she didn´t dare leave the house and didn´t see them get killed. Afterwards the Serb soldiers came back and ordered everyone to leave their houses in ten minutes. One of the soldiers asked Hava where her son was. She replied that, they should know, they took them away. To which he replied that he did indeed know. According to Hava, the Serb soldiers played music as they rounded up the villagers; they cursed at them and told them they would never come back to their homes. 34 people were killed in the village that time, the dead bodies thrown up on a huge pile, later a bus came to take Hava and the rest away, the bus was crammed with people.
Hava´s only surviving son, Sudo (Suvad) asked Pero Rivic, a Croat man, if he knew anything about his father and brothes. Rivic told him that his father was killed and then hugged him and started crying. “There are more dead but I only recognized Muharem and Ziko” (Zijad) said Rivic.
Rahila who now lives in Austria, didn´t want to say her last name, she had come with her husband who was burying his father brother and four other members of his family, she feels that the state didn´t do nearly enough when it comes to the organizing the event. According to her people from Bišćani could only do so much with what they had, and that Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state should have helped more with organizing the event.
The task of organizing everything fell to the victims’ families and members of the Islamic Community, but what was hardest to take for the victims’ families have is that the current Serb-led authorities in Prijedor and mayor Marko Pavic didn’t declare Sunday a day of mourning, after all; this was a final farewell and funeral for 284 of it´s citizens who were all brutally murdered.
Bosnian FACE TV covered the final farewell to the victims
The complete list of names of those buried is as follows: Agičić (Osman) Zlatan (1935), Agičić (Zlatan) Edin (1963), Alagić (Jasim) Džemal (1954), Alagić (Jusuf) Fikret (1967), Alić ( Šerif) Derviš (1948), Alić (Husein) Smail (1962), Ališić (Šefik) Sajid (1955), Ališković (Abdulah) Mesud (1967), Ališković (Ahmet) Velid (1972), Ališković (Ibrahim) Esad (1967), Ališković (Ibrahim) Nedžad (1968), Avdić (Ahmet) Ešef (1963), Avdić (Hamed) Muhamed (1975), Avdić (Idriz) Omer (1950), Avdić (Reuf) Senad (1962), Bačić (Osman) Esad (1958), Bačić (Šemso) Sulejman (1943), Bajrić (Šerif) Zafir (1971), Bašić (Hasan) Zlatan (1973), Behlić (Samed) Enes (1971), Brakić (Agan) Began (1964), Brakić (Agana) Adem (1954), Brakić (Redžo) Damir (1971), Burnić (Redže) Fuad (1955), Čaušević (Ale) Ramiz (1956), Čaušević (Ale) Razim (1959), Čaušević (Derviš) Midhad (1960), Čaušević (Derviš) Mirsad (1954), Čaušević (Fehim) Uzeir (1945), Čaušević (Huse) Muharem (1927), Čaušević (Kasim) Emir (1956), Čaušević (Mehmed) Esmir-Ećo (1967), Čaušević (Mehmed) Sadik (1946), Čaušević (Muharem) Muhamed (1958), Čaušević (Mujo) Ilijaz (1952), Čaušević (Razim) Hikmet (1965), Čaušević (Sejfo) Hamed (1965), Cerić (Idriz) Adnan (1962), Crljenković (Hamdija) Senad (1962), Dedić (Hašim) Mustafa (1947), Dedić (Mustafe) Rifat (1942), Dedić (Rifat) Mevludin (1972), Dedić (Šaban) Sejfulah (1929), Delić (Alija) Husein (1943), Dizdarević (Ibrahim) Sulejman (1962), Dolić (Ivo) Ante (1944), Draganović (Hasan) Hasib (1955), Duratović (Adem) Asmir (1960), Duratović (Avdo) Husnija (1927), Duratović (Dževad) Faruk (1970), Duratović (Fehim) Ifet (1964), Duratović (Hadže) Rifet (1928), Duratović (Hilmija) Nail (1949), Duratović (Husnija) Ešef (1959), Duratović (Husnija) Hazim (1964), Duratović (Husnija) Ismet (1949), Duratović (Husnija) Mehmed (1952), Duratović (Ibrahim) Ismet (1938), Duratović (Idriz) Ismet zv. Ićo (1944), Duratović (Ismet) Elvis (1972), Duratović (Ismet) Enes (1975), Duratović (Ismet) Mirhet (1959), Duratović (Ismet) Zlatan (1965), Duratović (Mehmed) Halid (1977), Duratović (Salih) Fehim (1933), Duratović r. Kadić (Ibrišim) Đula (1924), Duratović r. Okić (Rešid) Zemira (1965), Džamastagić (Asim) Samir (1970), Džamastagić (Avdo) Derviš (1965), Džamastagić (Salih) Said (1948), Džolić (Ahmet) Besim (1960), Džolić (Huseina) Mursija (1935), Džolić (Mustafa) Samir (1965), Ejupović (Mahmut) Mirsad (1954), Ejupović (Šerif) Irfan (1964), Ejupović (Šerif) Nedžad (1959), Elkasević (Hamdija) Midhat zv.Midho (1972), Elkaz (Rasim) Asim (1954), Fazlić (Muharem) Sead (1962), Fazlić (Smaje) Fuad (1967), Fejzulai (Fikri) Suhat (1972), Ferizović (Fehim) Sabahidin zv.Sudo (1971), Ferizović (Fehim) Vehib (1964), Ferizović (Vejsil) Ermin (1970), Gazibara (Ramo) Osman (1943), Gredelj (Eniz) Senad (1962), Habibović (Hamed) Emir (1960), Habibović (Mehmed) Derviš (1931), Hajrudin (Husein) Jasmin (1975), Hajrudin (Ibro) Husein (1952), Halilović (Husnija) Faik zv.Cico (1968), Halilović (Idriz) Ibrahim (1968), Hamulić (Redže) Mehmed (1955), Hegić (Abaz) Izet (1965), Hegić (Abaz) Said (1963), Hegić (Abdulah) Asuf (1967), Hegić (Abdulah) Ragib (1955), Hegić (Abdulah) Vehid (1960), Hegić (Abdulah) Vejsil (1953), Hegić (Abdulah) Velid (1964), Hegić (Alija) Fikret (1974), Hegić (Emin) Abdulah (1932), Hegić (Husein) Sulejman (1928), Hegić (Ibro) Sakib (1927), Hegić (Mehmed) Mesud (1957), Hegić (Mujo) Damir (1973), Hegić (Osman) Husein (1954), Hegić (Sadik) Mirsad (1956), Hegić (Salko) Salih (1928), Hegić (Smajo) Hilmija (1953), Hegić (Smajo) Mujo (1949), Hegić (Sulejman) Dževad (1958), Hegić (Sulejman) Elvedin (1969), Hegić (Sulejmana) Bujazid (1954), Hodžić (Jasim) Jasmin (1964), Hodžić (Mehmed) Dedo (1968), Hodžić (Osman) Agan (1944), Hopovac (Asim) Husein (1957), Hopovac (Asim) Jasim (1972), Hopovac (Džafo) Mirhad (1961), Hopovac (Džafo) Mirsad (1959), Hopovac (Husein) Rasim (1957), Hopovac (Kasim) Mesud (1962), Hopovac (Maho) Nail (1930), Hopovac (Samed) Ismet (1964), Hopovac (Sejfo) Hamed (1959), Huskić (Ibro) Idriz (1966), Huskić (Ibro) Muhamed (1958), Huskić (Meho) Zijad (19409, Jusufi (Halil) Besim (1967), Kadić (Abdulah) Edin (19759, Kadić (Abdulah) Ibrahim (1966), Kadić (Avdija) Abdulah (1941), Kadić (Husein) Faruk (1960), Kadić (Husein) Ishak (1950), Kadić (Ramo) Enes (1962), Kadić (Suad) Ifet (1958), Kadić (Vahid) Mufid (1966), Kadić (Vahid) Sabahudin (1969), Kadirić (Agan) Rasim (1928), Kadirić (Arif) Edhem (1930), Kadirić (Bajro) Rašid (1935), Kadirić (Ćamil) Besim (1958), Kadirić (Derviš) Ibrahim (1958), Kadirić (Derviš) Kasim zv. Kaćo (1955), Kadirić (Derviš) Mirsad (1956), Kadirić (Derviš) Rasim (1951), Kadirić (Edhem) Ermin (1962), Kadirić (Edhem) Halid (1970), Kadirić (Ekrem) Admir (1974), Kadirić (Hasan) Avdo (1948), Kadirić (Ismet) Asmir (1965), Kadirić (Izet) Samir (1969), Kadirić (Mujo) Salih (1915), Kadirić (Rahim) Enes (1966), Kadirić (Rašid) Nihad (1965), Kadirić (Rasim) Agan (1968), Kadirić (Rasim) Emdžad (1964), Kadirić (Saida) Sead (1969), Kadirić (Salih) Ekrem (1948), Kadirić (Šefik) Sabahudin (1967), Kadirić (Šerif) Fehim (1932), Kadirić (Vahid) Nedžad (1976), Kahrimanović (Nedžib) Zineta (1965), Kahteran (Ejub) Šefik (1957), Kahteran (Hase) Kemal (1952), Kaltak (Malik) Dedo (1931), Kaltak (Musa) Bego (1940), Kaltak (Musa) Smail (1955), Kamenac (Muho) Hasan (1954), Karabašić (Dedo) Samir (19729, Karagić (Edhem) Munib (1943), Karagić (Hamzalija) Samir (1972), Karagić (Hasan) Hamzalija (1945), Karagić (Husein) Huzeir (1966), Karagić (Husein) Samir (1974), Karagić (Ismet) Ifet (1968), Karagić (Munib) Saud (1974), Karagić (Munib) Suad (1970), Karagić (Nedžib) Ismet (1964), Karagić (Rasim) Salih (1969), Karagić (Salih) Šefik (1933), Karagić (Šefik) Salko (1958), Karagić (Sulejman) Mirsad (1960), Kardumović (Rasim) Fahrudin (1969), Kardumović (Rasim) Mirsad (1973), Kardumović (Rasim) Suvad (1963), Karupovi (Fehim) Ermin (1966), Karupović (Ćamil) Zaim (1966), Karupović (Osman) Nevad (1977), Karupović (Šaban) Redžep (1959), Karupović (Tahir) Hasan (1967), Karupović (Tahir) Vehbija (1971), Kekić (Hadže) Halid (1952), Kekić (Hadže) Nurija (1946), Kekić (Zaim) Mehmed (1927), Kljajić (Derviš) Huse (1936), Kljajić (Šerif) Jasmin (1961), Krupić (Rešid) Fehim (1961), Mahić (Jusuf) Fikret (1948), Medić (Hasan) Fikret (1958), Mehanović (Adem) Rasim zv.Braco (1954), Mehanović (Bajro) Adem (1928), Mrkalj (Derviš) Ibrahim (1934), Mrkalj (Derviš) Zijad (1950), Mrkalj (Hamza) Fehim (1943), Mrkalj (Hamza) Kasim (1930), Mrkalj (Hamza) Latif (1938), Mrkalj (Hamza) Salih (1940), Mrkalj (Hašim) Idriz (1930), Mrkalj (Idriz) Hašim (1950), Mrkalj (Kasim) Emsud (1960), Mrkalj (Latif) Suad (1971), Mrkalj (Malić) Smail (1933), Mrkalj (Nijaz) Denis (1974), Mrkalj (Nijaz) Ermin (1969), Mrkalj (Smail) Enijaz (1962), Mrkalj (Smail) Ismet (1965), Muhić (Derviš) Hikmet (1964), Muhić (Mehmed) Avdija (1967), Muhić (Mehmed) Muhamed-Hamo (1963), Mujanić (Muharem) Fikret (1943), Mujdžić (Habib) Nihad (1964), Mujdžić (Ordaga) Abaz (1930), Mujdžić (Rahim) Razim (1960), Mujdžić (Sulejman) Suljo (1956), Murić (Ramo) Uka (1944), Musić (Derviš) Fadil (1960), Musić (Emsud) Edin (1965), Musić (Muho) Derviš (1922), Nasić (Ibro) Uzejir (1948), Nasić (Mehmed) Ibrahim (1971), Omanović (Ale) Hasan (1950), Omanović (Ale) Mehmed (1941), Omanović (Nail) Nedžad (1952), Pašić (Nail) Asim (1962), Pelak (Ibrahim) Refik (1959), Porčić (Šefik) Sejad (1965), Ramulić (Salih) Smajil (1952), Ramulić (Salih) Vahid (1957), Ramulić (Smajil) Kemal (1974), Rasimi (Husein) Islam (1926), Redžić (Meho) Mustafa (1932), Redžić (Šaban) Ibrahim (1936), Rizvanović (Derviš) Hamid (1924), Rizvanović (Fehim) Ferid (1956), Šabanović (Bego) Jasmin (1971), Šabanović (Osman) Rahim (1959), Sadić (Rifet) Sajid zv.CAKA (1961), Salihović (Husein) Ibrahim (1938), Šarčević (Munib) Elvis (1979), Selimović (Avdo) Sulejman (1952), Siječić (Abid) Hajrudin (1965), Siječić (Derviš) Ragib (1932), Siječić (Husein) Husein (1937), Siječić (Latif) Ramiz (1963), Siječić (Latif) Sulejman zv.Suljo (1952), Siječić (Ragib) Vehbija (1952), Siječić (Safet) Jasmin (1963), Sikirić (Ibrahim) Enver (1956), Sikirić (Mehmed) Hasan (1934), Sikirić (Mehmed) Smail (1931), Sivac (Aziz) Muharem (1962), Suhonjić (Rasim) Šefik (1963), Tatarević (Hasan) Ibrahim (1945), Tatarević (Hasan) Muharem (1939), Tatarević (Huse) Enes (1958), Tatarević (Muharem) Nihad (1968), Tatarević (Muharem) Nizhad (1974), Tatarević (Muharem) Sejad (1963), Tatarević (Muharem) Senad (1961), Tatarević (Muharem) Zijad (1972), Tatarević (Muharem) Zilhad (1969), Tatarević (Šaban) Edin (1968), Tatarević(Šaban) Elvedin (1969), Vojniković (Halil) Fikret (1953), Vojniković (Iso) Uzeir (1947), Vojniković (Mustafa) Zijad (1966), Vojniković (Uzeir) Sanel (1977), Zahirović (Huse) Ramiz (1972), Zahirović (Huse) Smajo (1963), Zahirović (Husein) Smail (1969(, Zahirović (Ibrahim) Faruk (1973), Zulić (Alija) Esad (1957).
This post has been edited and updated 24-07-2014 & 25-07-2014