Hundreds of Bosnians joined a memorial ceremony to more than 60 civilians killed when a mortar was fired into an open-air market in February 1994.Families of those who died and representatives of Sarajevo’s cantonal government came to lay flowers at the ceremony on Tuesday marking the 19th anniversary of the deadly mortar attack on the Markale market which killed 68 people and injured 140 more.
Mirsada Saciragic, whose father died in the massacre on February 5, 1994, said she was still grieving.
“I cannot forget… My wound will endure forever,” Saciragic said.
Abid Kocevic, who was among those who survived the blast, said he went to the market that day to buy vegetables when he heard the explosion and lost consciousness.
“When I came to, I saw my leg was twisted backwards. I dragged myself to the rails of the tram line and someone picked me up, threw me in the back of his car and drove me to the hospital,” he recalled.
Hajra Hodzic, who lost her cousin in the attack, called for the prosecution of all those responsible for the killings of Sarajevo civilians during the wartime siege of the city between 1992 and 1995.
“Only through justice can we look forward. The truth is all we need. We need to know who is guilty of what, and what they did,” said Hodzic.
Sarajevo cantonal minister Muamer Bandic said no war crime should ever be forgotten.
“This city survived one of the worst aggressions of the 20th century. We are here for our children and the truth. Our young should never forget these crimes, because only through the truth can we move to the future,” said Bandic.
The Hague Tribunal has already sentenced former Bosnian Serb Army commander Stanislav Galic to life imprisonment for terrorising Sarajevo civilians through a shelling and sniping campaign which included the February 1994 attack on the market.
In its verdict, the Tribunal ruled that the mortar was fired from Bosnian Serb positions.
Bosnian Serb military and political leaders Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, who are currently on trial at The Hague, have also been charged with responsibility for the Markale killings in 1994 and another massacre at the same market in August 1995 in which 43 people died.