News 12 Oct 12

Mass Grave Found in Sekovici

The remains of eleven people have been recovered from a mass grave in northern Bosnia, the Institute for Missing Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina confirmed.

Denis Dzidic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Lejla Cengic, the spokesperson for the Institute, said that they had been working on the exhumation of the mass grave, which is located in a brook, at Trnovo in the Sekovici municipality, for the last two weeks.  

She could not rule out the possibility that more remains might be found.

“We believe that the remains belong to Bosniak civilians from the area of Vlasenica. Our assumption is that they belong to victims who were brought on a bus from the Susica camp in Vlasenica in 1992 or 1993, and that the total number of victims may be as high as 50,“ added Cengic.

She said that the remains are buried in a shallow grave. The recovered remains will be transferred to Tuzla for DNA analysis and identification.

Three men have been convicted so far by the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Hague Tribunal for the crimes committed in Vlasenica.

Dragan Nikolic a.k.a. Yankee, the former warden of the Susica camp, was sentenced by the Hague Tribunal to 20 years in prison in 2005, while Dragan Bastah and Goran Viskovic were each sentenced in Sarajevo to a total of 40 years imprisonment for crimes against humanity committed in the town of Vlasenica.

The Institute said that in the last seven days exhumations had been carried out in Zvornik, Odzak and Visegrad, during which the remains of five victims were found.
The exhumation at Crni Potok quartz mine in the Busovaca area was aborted because explosive devices were discovered.

“The exhumation will resume next week, with the assistance of a bomb disposal unit,” said Cengic.

According to the ICMP figures, there were approximately 30,000 people missing, presumed dead, at the end of the conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

To date, the bodies of two thirds of those initially listed as missing have been found and identified.  Around 10,000 people are still missing.

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