On Sunday July 29, family members and fellow citizens will mark the 19th anniversary of the killing of 45 Bosniaks from the village of Vrbanja, near Bugojno in 1993.
“We shall gather at the monument on Sunday in order to pay our respects to those who died. A religious ceremony will then be performed,” said Mirsad Teskeredzic, the President of “Vrbanja 93”, an association for the families of those who were killed.
The victims lost their lives during an attack by the Croatian Defence Council, HVO, after the breakout of the conflict between Croatian forces and the Army of Bosnia and Hercegovina.
A number of other men were arrested in Vrbanja and taken to the “Akvarijum” motel, where they were abused and held in inhumane conditions.
Around 200 people took part in a walk from Vrbanja to Dubovik, near Gracanica, which was organized to help mark the crimes that were committed there in July 1993.
“We wanted to bring to mind the road taken by the Bosniaks from Vrbanja, as they ran away from death. Many young people took part in the ceremony this year. A historical lesson was given to them,” Teskeredzic said.
The Vrbanja memorial was built in the form of a fountain. The fountain is engraved with the names of the 45people who were killed and the word “Why”.
Up until now, Slavko Sakic is the only person to have been tried for these crimes by the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Having admitted his guilt in 2008, he was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for participating in the murder, capture and torture of prisoners.