Sarajevo Remembers Second Markale Market Massacre

Markale 28th of August 1995 Photo: ICTY
Markale 28th of August 1995 Photo: ICTY

This  week saw Sarajevans pay their respect to the victims of the second Markale Market massacre which took place 28th august 1995 and took the lives of 43 people and injured another 75 when a shell fired from Serb position outside the city landed in the crowded marketplace. According to the UN-report on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina from November 1999, 5  mortar rounds landed in a crowded area of downtown Sarajevo around 11 o´clock on 28th of august 1995, one of those rounds landed in the crowded Markale Market place killing 43 people and wounding another 75. Approximately a year and a half before the market place had been struck by Serb shelling, killing 68 people and wounding 144.

In October last year Jeremy Bowen took the stand in the trial of Ratko Mladic, Bowen had served as BCC´s war correspondent in Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to his statement he had been in Sarajevo for most of the time and that “no place was safe” in the city, there was no shelter from the Bosnian Serb shelling and sniper attacks. Many of those TV reports that Bowen had made for BBC while in Sarajevo were shown during his testimony including the shelling of Hotel Europa where refugees that had been expelled from other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina were staying.

Another video showed an artillery attack on children and other civilians in Sarajevo cemetery during the funeral of Vedrana Glavas. Glavas was a two-year old girl who was killed together with another child in a sniper attack on a bus transporting children from and orphanage. The children were being evacuated from the city.

One of those that had survived the second massacre on Markale, Ismet Svraka recounted his experiences that day during the trial of Ratko Mladic. According to Svraka he had lost his left leg and two toes on his right foot in the massacre as well as suffering from stomach pain and intestinal problems caused by shrapnel in his abdomen. Svraka had gone to downtown Sarajevo to deliver a letter to his sister and had taken the back streets in order to avoid snipers, after he had delivered the letter he went to the Markale market where he saw two friends standing in front of the market building when a shell exploded and the shouting and panic started. According to Svraka he was thrown in to a car and taken to a hospital. The prosecution played two video clips of the massacre, according to the IWPR report, “in the the first one you could see piles of contorted bodies lying on the ground amid the pools of blood and debris. Some are lifted into nearby cars, and screaming and shouting can be heard in the background.”

Ismet Svraka was able to identify himself as one of those on the ground.  The second clip was altogether more graphic and was shown after Svraka had left the courtroom. The clip showed a man lying face-up in the street with the top of his head completely blown open and blood gushing into the pavement.

During the trial of Dragomir Milosevic, a protected witness: W-137 testifed that; “all of the victims of the shelling were being rushed to hospital in the trunks of many cars, without any distinction as to whether the victims were dead or alive”. According to the witness those collecting bodies could not be certain who was dead and who was still alive and so they rushed to pick up everyone and take them to the hospital as soon as possible.

Djula Leka a resident of Sarajevo had been at the Markale Market when the mortar rounds landed, she was about five to seven meters from the place of impact. She was injured while her brother in-law was killed by the Serb mortar round. She said that a policeman at the scene stopped a car to transport her to the hospital but that the car was full of dead bodies so she refused to get in. To this day she feels pain in her chest and shoulder as result of the injures she received on that day.

Mesuda and Ismet Klaric were immediately taken to surgery, Ismet didn´t survive. The mortar round had landed about five meters behind them. Directly after the mortar hit Mesuda felt like she wasn´t fully conscious or able to see what was going on. When she came to she saw  that she was sitting on the ground with her husband next to her. He told her that he had lost his arm while she was bleeding heavily from her leg. Mesuda also saw people lying on the street towards the cathedral as she was being carried to a car to take her to a hospital with her husband. In the car were also a young man and a young woman, according to Mesuda, the foot of the young girl had been severed by the blast. (page 220-221 D.Milosevic Verdict)

Several Bosnian police officers arrived at the scene minutes after the blast at Markale Market. W-137 a KDZ technician said that he had been in the area with a colleague when he heard a lot of cars sounding their horns and human arms and legs sticking out of the cars he arrived seven minutes after seeing the cars as he and his colleague went back to get their equipment. He described the scene he found at Markale Market as “the last, deepest circle of Dante’s hell” (page 224)

Markale Photo: ICTY
Markale Photo: ICTY

During the trial of Stanislav Galic, the first commander of Sarajevo-Romanija Corps the trial chamber found that there was evidence that the sniping and shelling activity of the SRK in and around Sarajevo were under the direct control of the SRK’s chain of command and that if he had wanted, Galic could have punished those who committed crimes since the trial produced ample evidence that he was aware attacks on civilians by SRK (Sarajevo-Romanija Corps) The trial chamber also concluded based on evidence that not only did Galic knew of the attacks on civilians in Sarajevo but that he indeed controlled pace and scale of those crimes. According to the trial chamber Galic did this with the primary aim of of spreading terror among the civilian population of Sarajevo. Galic was sentenced to twenty years in prison´for crimes against humanity, including grave breaches of the Geneva Convention as well as for the first Markale Massarce in February 1994.

Stanislav Galic was replaced by Dragomir Milosevic on August 10th 1994.  In 2009 after an appeal Milosevic´s sentence was reduced from 33 to 29 years. Nevertheless Dragomir Milosevic was sentenced for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war. According to the Appeals Chamber verdict: Milosevic conducted a campaign of snipering and shelling attacks on the city of Sarajevo and did so with the primary aim of spreading terror among the city’s civilian population. He conducted a campaign of artillery, mortar and modified air bomb shelling of civilian areas of Sarajevo and on its civilian population.

The siege of Sarajevo was the longest of it´s kind in modern times. It lasted three time longer then the siege of Stalingrad and a year longer then the siege of Leningrad. Beginning on April 5th 1992 and last for almost 4 years, 11541 people lost their lives, of those 1601 were children. Approximately 50 000 people were wounded by artillery and sniper fire coming from Bosnian Serb positions around the city.

List of those who died in the massacre: Omer Ajanović, Hidajet Alić, Salko Alić, Zeno Bašević, Husein Baktašević, Sevda Brkan-Kruščica, Vera Brutus-Đukić, Halida Cepić, Paša Crnčalo, Mejra Cocalić, Razija Čolić, Esad Čoranbegić, Dario Dlouhi, Salko Duraković, Alija Dževlan, Najla Fazlić, Rijad Garbo, Ibrahim Hajvaz, Meho Herceglić, Jasmina Hodžić, Hajrudin Hozo, Jusuf Hašimbegović, Adnan Ibrahimagić, Ilija Karanović, Mesudija Kerović, Vehid Komar, Muhamed Kukić, Mirsad Kovačević, Hašim Kurtović, Ismet Klarić, Masija Lončar, Osman Mahmutović, Senad Muratović, Goran Poturković, Blaženka Smoljan, Hamid Smajlhodžić, Hajro Šatrović, Samir Topuzović, Hamza Tunović Ajdin Vukotić, Sabaheta Vukotić, Meho Zećo Narima Žiga.

On 28th August this year ICTY NEWS posted this short clip of the aftermath.

Short clip from BBC documentary; Death of Yugoslavia on the second Markale Massacre.

 

A New Documentary on Sarajevo´s former Military Hospital – The unsung heroes of the siege of Sarajevo

This article was published by Kosovo News on 9th January 2014 ( Link )

On February 15th  2013 during the trial of Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic, the Trial chamber heard the testimony of one Dr Bakir Nakas a prosecution witness in the case against Mladic. Nakas was manager at the Sarajevo State Hospital, which was a military hospital before the Yugoslav People’s Army, or JNA, withdrew from the city in May 1992. According to Nakas due to the constant shelling of the city and the hospital, most of the hospital´s equipment was moved from the upper floors to the basement. Nakas office however remained on the third floor from there he had access to a terrace from where he could see the Bosnian Serb positions. “I could watch firing from that direction as well as other activities,” Nakas told the court. He said that his secretary was wounded by a bullet “probably from a sniper”, and that “a similar shot” subsequently hit his office.

When asked by the prosecution why he thought that the Bosnian Serbs intended to destroy the hospital, Nakas replied that he had heard about remarks made by Dragan Kalinic, a surgeon and former colleague of Nakas who later became health minister in Republika Srpska. Aside from saying that shelling Sarajevo´s hospitals was good idea ( Remember, Kalinic had taken the Hippocratic Oath ) Kalinic is most famous for being removed from position of chairman of the national assembly of RS and SDS for what the OHR and Paddy Ashdown called “a catalogue of abuse, corruption and tax evasion at all levels of the SDS.” According to Nakas, Kalinic had once stated that “since the former military hospital had been lost, it was “good and necessary” to target it and also another city hospital, in order to “reduce the possibility of providing care to injured citizens of Sarajevo”.

The prosecution then produced a transcript of a Republika Srpska assembly session dated May 12, 1992, where Kalinic is quoted as saying “if the military hospital falls into the hands of the enemy, I am for the destruction of the Kosevo hospital, so that the enemy has nowhere to go for medical help”.

According to Nakas, a professor of architecture surveyed the damage done to the hospital due to it´s exposure to shelling and sniper fire and pointed out that one of the pillars on the eight floor had been damaged. Had the pillar broken off or sustained more damage the hospital would have broken down. “Given that a number of shells hit the eight floor we supposed that it was an attempt to render the hospital unfit for use”

The siege of Sarajevo was the longest siege of any major city in modern time, it lasted three time longer then the siege of Stalingrad and a year longer then the siege of Leningrad. Beginning on April 5th 1992 with the murders of Olga Sucic and Suada Dilberovic on Vrbanja bridge and lasting up until February 1996, 11541 people were killed, of those 1601 were children. Approximately 50 000 people were wounded.

One of the cemeteries for those who died in the siege of Sarajevo, built on a football pitch in front of the Zetra Olympic hall in Sarajevo.
A cemetery for those who died in the siege of Sarajevo, built on a football pitch in front of the Zetra Olympic hall in Sarajevo.

In May 1994, two years before the end of the siege, the most comprehensive UN-Report on the siege of Sarajevo was published. According to the report, the structural damage and damage to property in Sarajevo as a result of the siege included hospitals and other medical buildings and ambulances and medical personnel, doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers with more. Civilians have also been subjected to attacks, which can in no way be justified by the current state of war.

According to the report:

The siege has not spared any sector of Sarajevo’s population. UNICEF reported that of the estimated 65,000 to 80,000 children in the city: at least 40 per cent had been directly shot at by snipers; 51 per cent had seen someone killed; 39 per cent had seen one or more family members killed; 19 per cent had witnessed a massacre; 48 per cent had their home occupied by someone else; 73 per cent have had their home attacked or shelled; and 89 per cent had lived in underground shelters. It is probable that the psychological trauma suffered during the siege will bear heavily on the lives of these children in the years to come. ( Civilian Casualties )

The chronology confirms that certain areas of the city have been systematically shelled throughout the course of the siege. For example, the city centre has consistently been the most often targeted area, with shelling attacks reported in that particular area of the city on 240 days. Also heavily shelled were the airport area and southwestern suburbs (shelling attacks reported on 158 days) and the Old Town area (shelling attacks reported on 113 days).

Systematic targeting can be inferred from the shelling of hospitals and in particular the Sarajevo University Clinical Centre Kosevo which has constantly been under shell and sniper fire. The Kosevo complex has reportedly been shelled at least 264 times since the siege began, killing staff and patients alike. An examination of the sheer number of shells and the high percentage of direct hits on the complex indicates intent by the besieging forces to hit this civilian target. Moreover, much of the shelling from the surrounding hillsides has taken place at midday, the time when the hospital is busiest with visitors.

It is therefore obvious that the besieging forces have knowledge of the patterns of operation of this facility. Despite extensive damage, a shortage of electricity, water and necessary equipment, the Kosevo Hospital is by necessity still in operation. UNPROFOR and city officials have indicated that shelling of the city ranges from about 200 to 300 impacts on what they refer to as a quiet day to 800 to 1,000 shell impacts on an active day. The chronology confirms that the city has been relentlessly shelled over the course of the siege. On the 196 days in the chronology where a total shelling count was available, Sarajevo was hit by 64,490 shells, totalling an average of approximately 329 shell impacts on the city per day.

The range of shelling activity on these days varied from a low of two shell impacts on 17 and 18 May 1993 and 24 August 1993, to a high of 3,777 shell impacts on 22 July 1993. Observers have noted that UNPROFOR shelling reports in many cases record only a fraction of actual shelling activity. This is due in part to the logistical difficulties encountered by the UNPROFOR contingent during the siege. Therefore, it should be assumed that Sarajevo has been hit by a greater number of shells than that which has been recorded by observers. (Structural and property damage and destruction)

At the trial of Major-General Stanislav Galic, the man that commanded the Sarajevo Romanija Corps of the Bosnian Serb Army or the SRK and was in command of the besieging forces from around 10 September 1992 to 10 August 1994, the prosecution stated the following :

The siege of Sarajevo, as it came to be popularly known, was an episode of such notoriety in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia that one must go back to World War II to find a parallel in European history. Not since then had a professional army conducted a campaign of unrelenting violence against the inhabitants of a European city so as to reduce them to a state of medieval deprivation in which they were in constant fear of death. In the period covered in this Indictment, there was nowhere safe for a Sarajevan, not at home, at school, in a hospital, from deliberate attack.

Galic was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the siege of Sarajevo, for the campaign of terror that the Bosnian Serb Army had unleashed on the citizens of Sarajevo. For the daily sniper and artillery attacks on the city as well as for the first Markale Massarce in February 1994, the verdict stated that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the shell had been fired from Serb positions. During the sentencing the Trial Chamber used for the first time the term; “Violence Aimed at Spreading Terror among the Civilian Population” as it was designated in the Geneva Convention. The Galic verdict also mentions the topography of Sarajevo, with its ridges and high-rise buildings provided vantage-points for the Bosnian Serb sniper and artillery to target civilians in the city.

A Former UN military observer and member of the UNPROFOR team investigating the first Markale market massacre testified in November 2012 at the trial of Ratko Mladic as to what he saw and experienced during his time in Sarajevo, John Hamill an Irish Colonel talked about what it was like to be in a city under siege, he mentioned that while he was there, on one day 3777 shells were fired at the city within the space of twelve hours. Hamill had previously testified at the trial of Stanislav Galic with regards to the first Markale Massacre. During his time in Sarajevo Hamill interviewed several Bosnian Serb officers, including  colonel Radislav Cvetkovic who confirmed to Hamill that “30,000 to 40,000 shells” had been fired on the city the previous year and wondered why so much fuss was made about a single shell that fell on the Markale market.

Bare cemetery, overlooking Sarajevo. Many of the victims are buried there.
Bare cemetery, overlooking Sarajevo. Many of the victims are buried there.

One of the most terrifying aspects of the siege was the introduction of so-called ”Modified Air Bombs” which really served only one purpose : To kill and injure as many people as possible, according to the Dragomir Milosevic verdict the bombs were heavy, clumsy and served no military purpose. Every time one of these was fired towards the city Milosevic was playing russian roulette with Sarajevo residents’ lives, according to the evidence that was put forward the effects of these so-called ”Modified Air Bombs” were overwhelming when it comes to the killing of civilians, and the psychological aspect it had on the civilian population. These clumsy mostly improvised devices usually fired from mobile launchers  had zero success rate, they could land just about anywhere and cause huge damage. During the ongoing the trial of Ratko Mladic a French UN officer described the damage such a device could cause. According to the witness on the 28th of June 1995 a so-called MAB ( Modified Air Bomb ) hit the TV building in Sarajevo, the explosion was extremely loud, almost like a train collision and the device itself was so large and flew so slowly that one could actually see it before it hit the TV building.

The witness who was an UNPROFOR official based in Sarajevo also testified about Bosnian Serb Army´s sniper activity in the city, according to the witness, the Serbs did not adhere to any ethical principals, “the shooting was very random.” “They basically wanted to crush the city, its inhabitants and their morale, and the sniper shootings seemed very logical in that regard – they were a means to achieve that goal.” According to the witness.

A "gravity bomb" or "A Modified Air Bomb" aircraft bombs modified into self-propelled projectiles launched from the ground.
A “gravity bomb” or “A Modified Air Bomb” aircraft bombs modified into self-propelled projectiles launched from the ground.

During the trial of Dragomir Milosevic in 2007 Thorbjorn Overgard testified about an attack that he personally witnessed in the Sarajevo suburb Hrasnica. Overgard, a UN monitor from Norway confirmed that the terror campaign against Sarajevo was “enhanced” after Milosevic took over the command of Sarajevo-Romanija Corps in late 1994. The prosecution had put forward the notion that Milosevic had simply continued where Stanislav Galic had left of, the campaign of terror against the civilian population continued, and was enhanced and enlarged by the use of modified air bombs. Overgard was witness to the destructive impact of the modified air bombs. As a member of the UN monitoring mission located in Sarajevo’s Hrasnica suburb. He witnessed an attack on 7 April 1995 in which a house was razed to the ground and caused damage to the houses in a radius of several hundred meters. The Norwegian major remembers having seen one or two legs sticking out of the ruins. He also added that there was no way that this was a military attack or collateral damage since the nearest Bosnian Army facility in Hrasnica was located one kilometer from the site of the blast. According to Overgard, an experienced air force officer, it´s impossible to control and guide these bombs, especially if the fired from an “an alternative source” in this case a truck.

Long before Dr Bakir Nakas came face to face in Hague with one of the architects of the siege of Sarajevo he witnessed on a daily basis the pain and suffering both physical and psychological that was being inflicted on the residents of the city by those besieging it. As a member of the staff at Sarajevo´s former Military Hospital, ( Vojna Bolnica) later renamed Sarajevo State Hospital. During the siege Nakas and his colleagues had the almost impossible task of taking care of the wounded, the victims of the siege. In many cases they were young children hit by shrapnel while playing, or by sniper fire. Or pregnant women, the elderly, students, workers and soldiers. Nobody in Sarajevo was safe, and nobody was more exposed then those tasked with taking care of the injured and the helpless. The hospital was directly hit by over 200 shells, as well as sniper fire, Serbs also used modified anti-air craft guns to fire at many of the buildings in the city.

Now a new Bosnian documentary chronicles the struggle of the hospital staff during the three and half year long siege. At the beginning of the siege the hospital lost three quarters of it´s medical staff. Given that this was a military hospital a great deal of the employees agreed with the wars JNA and the Milosevic regime in Belgrade was by then waging in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and decided to leave while others decided to stay. Those that stayed faced an impossible situation, heavily understaffed they were at the same tasked with treating an increasing number of patients with severe wounds.

As a result of the siege there also a lack of water and power; the hospital had lost fifty percent of its capacity during the very beginning of the siege. There was nowhere to put the patients. The patient ward was heavily exposed to the shelling. Patients were housed in basements and hallways. Hospital engineers were forced to dig wells around the hospital grounds in order to find water. Doctors recall several instances when pregnant woman would came running in the hospital carrying their wounded child in her arms, while expecting another one. Sometimes the doctors managed to save the children’s lives other times they did not.

A lot of the time despite the best efforts of the doctors the wounds were so severe that there was nothing that could be done. The hospital only had one power generator, which they used only when they had to do emergency surgery on a patient. Rest of the time they used candles. The bandages were recycled, they were washed dried and used again. As well as catheters, they were washed, boiled and sterilized so that they could be used again. Transfusions were given only to those that needed it most. However despite the hardships the staff persisted, adapted and rose up to the challenges they faced. The Sarafix external fracture fixation system was developed at the hospital during the war, in total 4000 of these were made at the hospital during the war. The system which is now world-renowned was born like so many great inventions out of sheer necessity. Many of the procedures that the staff adopted out of sheer necessity have now become standard practice in hospitals around the world.

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The documentary, narrated by a former patient in the hospital, Marko Zita shows the quit determination and heroism of the men and women that cared for the victims of the siege, it also shows how they found time to make the patients forget about the horrors of war, even if it was for a brief moment. In the basement of the hospital, ballet performances were held for the patients and the staff, some of Bosnia´s most famous musicians preformed in the hospital, including Mladen Vojicic Tifa, Davorin Popovic, and Hanka Paldum. Sadly patients and staff were reminded of their predicament by the Bosnian Serbs on a regular basis. On New Year’s Eve 1993 it was decided that all the lights in the hospital would be turned on for fifteen minutes to cheer up the patients. The hospital was immediately struck by seven shells from the surrounding hills.

The military hospital as it was once called changed its name during the war to Sarajevo State Hospital. In 2006 it changed it again, today the hospital is called Abdullah Nakas General Hospital, named after its most prominent chief surgeon, Abdullah Nakas was chief surgeon at the hospital for well over 30 years. His colleagues remember him as a great humanist, a great surgeon a great leader and a great intellectual. He rarely left the hospital during the war and worked 1500 consecutive days during the war and its aftermath.

The documentary is a tribute to the heroism and determination of the doctors and rest of the staff of one particular hospital. However lets not forget that only a short drive away, up the hill was Sarajevo University Clinical Centre Kosevo, just as exposed shelled 264 times by 1994 and it´s staff just as heroic. Above all, for me this is a tribute not only to the heroic efforts of the doctors and the medical staff of Sarajevo´s Military Hospital, but to the heroic efforts of Dr Ilijaz Pilav and his staff during Ratko Mladic´s ruthless campaign against Srebrenica and Zepa in 1993, or the doctors and medical staff in Gorazde, Zepa, Bihac, the heroic efforts of the doctors in East Mostar and other places in Bosnia and Herzegovina during almost four years of merciless genocidal aggression on the country. The unsung heroes of the defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the healthcare professionals, physicians the caregivers and the healers.

Minneshögtid för Markalemassakerns offer

05 Feb 1994, Sarajevo, Första Markalemassakern
05 Feb 1994, Sarajevo, Första Markalemassakern

Den här veckan var det återigen dags för Sarajevoborna att hålla en minneshögstund och hedra minnet av de som dog under belägringens värsta stunder. Den 5 februari 1994 landade en granat som hade avfyrats från bosnienserbiska ställningar på bergen ovanför staden ner på marknaden Markale. 68 människor dödades och 140 skadades då granaten landade på den då överfulla marknaden. Nitton år senare så samlades offrens anhöriga tillsammans med andra som ville visa sin respekt för offren samt Sarajevos politiska elit som kom för att lägga blommor vid ceremonin. En av de som medverkade vid ceremonin, Muamer Bandic sa att Sarajevo överlevde en av de värsta aggressionerna under 1900-talet, staden var belägrad i tre och halv år, den längsta belägringen i modern tid. ”Vi kommer hit för att a visa respekt och för att lära våra barn om vad som egentligen hände, för att visa dem sanningen, våra unga borde aldrig glömma dessa brott, det är endast genom sanningen som vi kan se till att liknande illdåd aldrig mer inträffar”30 november 2006 dömdes Stanislav Galic som 1994 var befälhavare för de bosnienserbiska styrkor som belägrade Sarajevo till livstids fängelse för den terrorkampanj som hans styrkor släppte loss på Sarajevos invånare. I tre och halv år så utsattes staden och dess befolkning för ständiga artilleribeskjutningar och krypskyttattacker. Galic dömdes för bla massakern i Markale 5 februari 1994, i domen så stod det att man hade lyckats bevisa bortom rimlig tvivel att granaten hade avfyrats från serbiska ställningar. Under rättegången mot Stanislav Galic så användes för första gången termen terror mot civilbefolkningen så som det hade beskrivits i Genevékonentionen från 1949. Den bosniensrbiska arméns mål var att skapa en olidlig situation för befolkningen i Sarajevo. Den brittiske journalisten Martin Bell återgav i sitt vittnesmål i rättegången mot Ratko Mladic situationen i Sarajevo och hur kriget fördes. Enligt Bell så fanns det ingen elekricitet gas eller vatten i Sarajevo, folk levde under hemska förhållanden och många äldre människor dog av kyla under vintermånaderna.

Enligt Bell så använde bosnienserberna Sarajevo som en bricka i ett politisk spel där man hoppades att ifall man satte staden under tillräckligt hårt press så skulle man kunna påverka den bosniska regieringen och utgången av kriget. Galic dömdes också för mord på civila och tribunalen fastlog bortom rimlig tvivel att Galic var ansvarig för den terrorkampanj som Sarajevoborna utsattes för under den tid då han var befälhavare för de bosnienserbiska styrkorna. Galic är dock inte den ende som har åtalats för massakern, 10 agusti 1994 efterträddes Stanislav Galic av Dragomir Milosevic som liksom Galic ställdes inför rätta för bla brott mot mänskligheten terror mot civilbefolkningen och mord. 2009 dömdes han till 29 års fängelse för bla mord och terror mot civilbefolkningen.

Den dåvarande serbiske politiske ledaren Radovan Karadzic och befälhavaren för den serbiska rebellarmén Ratko Mladic som båda två är åtalade för brott mot mänskligheten och folkmord vid Haagtribunalen är också åtalade för massakern på 68 människor i Markalemarknaden 1994 och den andra massakern inträffade i augusti 1995 då en granat som hade avfyrats från serbiska ställningar ovanför staden dödade 43 människor.

Andra massakern inträffade 28 augusti 1995
Andra massakern inträffade 28 augusti 1995

I november 2012 så vittnade Ismet Svraka en av de som överlevde Markalemassakern 1995 i rättegången mot Ratko Mladic, Svraka som förlorade en av sina ben vid den andra massakern vittnade om den situation som uppstod efter att granaten hade detonerat. Enligt Ismet så uppstod det panik och folk började skrika, åklagarsidan visade två videoklipp som visade situationen på marknaden efter att granaten hade landat, i första klippet så kunde man se sammanvridna och lemlästade kroppar liggandes på marken i pölar av blod. Andra klippet var betydligt mer talande och kunde visas först efter att vittnen hade lämnat rättegångsalen. I klippet så kunde man se en man som låg på rygg mitt i gatan. Hans huvud hade delats itu av explosionen och blodet sprutade ut på trottoaren, runt honom låg det andra offer. Den femte december 2012 vittnade den kanadensiske FN generalen David Fraser i rättegången mot Ratko Mladic, enligt Fraser så var serbernas strategi i Sarajevo klar,serberna besköt civilbefolkningen avsiktligt enligt Fraser och Sarajevo och Sarajevoborna utsattes för man skulle milt kunna säga var “opproportoneligt våld” och att i de flesta fall så fanns det inga militära mål i sikte. Det fanns ingenting som kunde rättfärdiga användandet av sådant övervåld och avsiktligt beskjutning av civilbefolkningen enligt Fraser som tidigare har även vittnat mot generalerna Galic och Milosevic.

John Hamill en irländsk FN-överste som var en av de som undersökte omständigheterna kring den första Markalemassakern berättade i rättegången mot Ratko Mladic om sina intryck av livet under belägring, enligt Hamill så avfyrade de bosnienserbiska styrkorna 3777 projektiler mot staden inom loppet av 12 timmar. Hamill hade tidigare vittnat i rättegången mot Stanislav Galic just gällande den första Markalemassakern. Under sin tid i Sarajevo så intervjuade Hamill flertal bosnienserbiska officerare däribland ett överste vid namn Radislav Cvetkovic, enligt Hamill så förstod inte Cvetkovic vad var det som var så viktigt med en granat som landade på ett marknad? Enligt Cvetkovic så hade man under 1993, dvs året innan avfyrat 30-40 000 projektiler mot Sarajevo, han förstod inte betydelsen av en ynka granat…

I domen mot Stanislav Galic så nämndes också Sarajevos säregna topografi, med sina åsar och skyskrapor underlättade för bosnienserberna att ta sikte på civilbefolkningen, Sarajevo är egentligen perfekt för en belägring då staden är på alla sidor omgiven av berg och kullar. Flera vittnen sa trots att de försökte anpassa sig till belägringen, genom att tex stänga alla skolor, inte ge sig ut på dan utan vänta tills kvällen, genom att inte röra sig runt gemom staden allt för mycket, inte mer än det var absolut nödvändigt. Samt genom att man satte upp stålcontainrar på olika platser runt om i staden som skulle skydda mot krypskyttar så var man fortfarande inte trygg. Civilbefolkningen var ändå utsatt och det fanns egentligen ingen skydd mot artilleribeskjutning. Domarkammaren i Galic-fallet kunde komma til slutsatsen att bosnienserberna förde ett “kampanj” som riktades mot civilbefolkningen vars ändamål var att terrorisera densamma.

En av de mest hårresande aspekten av belägringen var introduktionen av så kallade “Modified Aerial Bombs” som egentligen tjänade bara ett syfte; att döda och såra så många som möjligt, enligt Milosevic-domen så var de tunga klumpiga och tjänade inget militärt syfte. Varje gång ett sådant avfyrades mot staden så lekte Milosevic med Sarajevobornas liv, enligt bevisningen som las fram så var effekterna av dessa så kallade “Modified Aerial Bombs” överväldigande när det gäller dödandet av civila, och den psykologiska aspekten det hade på civilbefolkningen. Dessa klumpiga oftast improviserade anordningar avfyrades oftast från mobila avfyrningsramper och hade hade noll träffsäkerhet, de kunde landa precis varsomhelst och orsaka enorm skada. Under den pågånde rättegången mot Ratko Mladic så beskrev en fransk FN-officer den skada en sådan anordning kunde orsaka. Enligt vittnet så såg hur den 28 juni 1995 en så kallad MAB (Modified Aerial Bomb) träffade TV-huset i Sarajevo, explosionen lät extremt mycket nästan som ett tågkrock, och själva anordningen var så pass stor och flög så pass sakta att man kunde faktiskt se den innan den slog ner i TV-huset.

Mer än 11 000 människor dödades i Sarajevo under den tre och halv år långa belägringen, de som har vittnat vid tribunalen jämförde Sarajevo med belägringen av Leningrad under andra världskriget. Civilbefolkningen levde under fruktansvärda förhållanden, utan el vatten mat eller gas, huvuddomaren i fallet mot Dragomir Milosevic sa att “bevisningen visar på att det fanns ingen trygghet för befolkningen i Sarajevo man kunde bli dödad eller sårad varsomhelst och närsomhelst. Staden hölls som gisslan och dess medborgare levde farligt genom att bara bo i Sarajevo.

För att få en bättre inblick hur det var att leva under belägring så har Bosnian Genocide wordpress.com lagt ut ett urval av bilder Sarajevo under krigsåren 1992-1995.

Uppdatering: ICTY News släppte en ny, två minter lång klipp om den andra Markalemassakern 29 augusti 1995