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Series 4: Do not forget
GENOCIDE IN BRATUNAC
According to 1991 census, Bratunac municipality has total of 33,619 residents, as follows: Muslims (Bosniacs) 21,535 (64.05%); Serbs 11,475 (34.13%); Yugoslavs 223 (0.66%); Others 346 (1.02%), and Croats 40 (0.11%).
As soon as the authorities were established after the multipart elections in November 1990, the great Serbian criminal propaganda started with the establishment of ethnically clean Serb state. On 18 October 1991, SDS held the plenary session of the Main board and the presidents of SDS municipal boards received the collection of documents related to the principles of organization of the Serb people in new political circumstances and tasks, which they had to implement in the field. SDS municipal presidents received instructions to establish crisis staffs in their municipalities, named Crisis staff of the Serb people.
Around the end of 1991 and in early 1992, JNA located heavy armament in the territory of Ljubovija municipality and pointed barrels towards Bratunac settlements. In March 1992, JNA officers and the SDS activists for Bratunac engaged in training Serbs in weapons handling. While this training was organized secretly in March 1992, in April 1992 JNA officers came to the village of Vraneševići, where the training took place, and they transported first armaments (transporters, tanks), which is now the beginning of the occupation of the Bratunac municipality. In early 1992, SDS established the Crisis staff, which declared the state of emergency on 12 April and declared itself a supreme authority in the municipality. War criminal Miroslav Deronjić was the leader of that Crisis staff and Commander of the Territorial defense. Separate Serb police was established on 10 April 1992. But, on 12 April 1992, the Serb Crisis staff ordered the territorial defense and police to engage in the defense of the municipality, and it was now the moment when the JNA soldiers from Novi Sad deployed around the municipality building in Bratunac.
On 16 April 1992, JNA Corps from Novi Sad was transferred to Bratunac, followed by other armed groups from Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). On 17 April 1992, JNA and other Serb armed groups entered the town and forced Bosniacs to surrender. Around the same time, the regular JNA troops came to the area from Belgrade, accompanied by the special police unit.
Various forms of crimes against humanity and international law were committed in this area, such as murders and willful killing, persecution, extermination, rapes, incarceration, torture, deportation (forcible transfer), intentional infliction of great suffering, plundering of public and private property and other.
On 2 May 1992, in the village of Hranča, criminals of Serb ethnicity came under the command of Momir Nikolić to allegedly look for weapons, and mainly Serb neighbors took part in that operation of looting and burning the property of Bosniacs. In the period 3 - 9 May 1992, at least 12 people were killed in this village, whereas other able-bodied Bosniac men were taken to the elementary school Vuk Karadžić, and they were tortured there while some of them were even killed.
On 6 May 1992, the predominantly Bosniac village of Blječeva was the next target. The Serb attacked the village with mortars. Several Serb shells hit directly the civilian objects and caused large material damage on them.
In the evening of 8 May 1992, Miroslav Deronjić, as the Crisis staff president in Bratunac, ordered Serb territorial defense, and the police forces in Bratunac to attack and partially burn the unprotected village of Glogova. In the 9 May attack, at least 65 Bosniacs were killed, while the major part of the village of Glogova was surfaced. In the period between April and May 1992, massive destruction of cultural monuments and sacral facilities, Islamic archive in Bratunac, religious secondary school in Glogova, mosques in Bratunac and Glogova were carried out.
On 10 May 1992, Serbs attacked and destroyed the Bosniac village of Suha. Young women and girls were sexually abused, and then they killed 38 unarmed Bosniac civilians. They threw their bodies to a local mass grave. There were nine children in the age between 3 months and 11 years among the 28 exhumed mortal remains, some women, and the elderly men.
In the period 10 – 13 May 1992, Serb units forced hundreds of Bosniacs to leave their homes and gather at the Bratunac football field, which served as a collection point, where they separated men for the execution. Around 3,000 Bosniacs were kept in the stadium, and they were forced to surrender their personal documentation, money and other valuables to Serb soldiers.
Men, separated in the stadium, were taken to the hangar near the school Vuk Karadžić and they were incarcerated there, and in the gym of the school, where they were tortured and killed. During the incarceration, 10 – 16 May 1992, 50 people were killed in the elementary school Vuk Karadžić, which served as a camp, through which hundreds of Bosniacs went through. They were beating, maltreating, torturing them and taking them to unidentified locations and randomly killed.
During the night 14 – 15 May 1992, Serbs evacuated incarcerated people from the Vuk Karadžić school, loaded them on trucks, and transported to Pale. The order was given to police and military police to make a list of all those who were imprisoned there, and this list contained more than 400 names.
This school served as a camp again in the period 12 – 15 July 1995, but now the captives from Srebrenica were brought there. They were captured in and around Srebrenica, UN safe area, and they were killed in the school and in front of the school.
In the church, which Serbs transformed to camp, in the village of Kravica, Momir Nikolić assistant commander for security and intelligence of the Bratunac brigade of the Republika Srpska Army, took part in brutal and inhumane treatment of Bosniac civilians, torturing of captives, including severe beating in places of incarceration in Bratunac. At the same time, female camp inmates were raped there. Around 350 Bosniacs were imprisoned there for months. Serbs used iron bars, rifle butts, hands, kicking to physically ill-treat prisoners. They were even plucking out their teeth with rusty pliers. Some prisoners were beaten to death.
On 13 July 1995, more than 1,000 Bosniac men were killed in a large warehouse in the village of Kravica, and the mortal remains were transported on 14 July 1995 to two large mass graves in the nearby villages of Glogova and Ravnice.
Although the number of identified genocide victims has not been identified, 603 mortal remains of genocide victims in Bratunac have been found. The youngest victim was a 6-months-old baby, and the oldest was 110 years of age. As of 1992, when majority of crimes in the Bratunac municipality were committed, only 160 victims were identified, though many of them were found integrally and packed, after the murder, to special plastic bags. In the territory of the Bratunac municipality, according to the conducted studies, number of the killed people amounts to 3,600 (only in July 1995, in and around the UN safe area Srebrenica, more than 1,700 Bosniacs, Bratunac residents were killed). Unfortunately, number of indictments and convicted criminals has not been adequately proportional to the extent of crimes, so that numerous criminals still live safely and peacefully in Bratunac.