20 10 2021
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THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE SIJEKOVAC KILLINGS

     The Association for Social Research and Communication (UDIK) reminds the public of the 29th anniversary of the Sijekovac killings. Also called Sijekovac massacre, it refers to the killing of Serb civilians, in the village of Sijekovac near Bosanski Brod on 26 March 1992. The assailants were members of Croat and Bosniak army units.

The motive and cause of the attack on Sijekovac remains questionable to this day. Serb sources claim that Croat-Bosniak forces killed civilians and set fire to about 50 houses in the village for no reason, while Human Rights Watch said it could not establish allegations of massacre because it was an armed conflict between Serb and Croat-Bosniak soldiers. The civilian casualties in that conflict occurred by accident, when the locals found themselves between the two conflicting parties. According to some sources, the Croat-Bosniak incursion into Sijekovac was a response to an attempt by Serb paramilitaries to capture the Sava Bridge leading to Croatia or as an attempt to return Bosanski Brod to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s constitutional order after Radovan Karadzic’s rebel forces seized the area.

In May 2014, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina sentenced Zemir Kovačević to ten years in prison. As a member of the Intervention Squad of the 1st Bosanski Brod Brigade, during the months of March and April 1992, and in July and August of the same year in the municipality of Bosanski Brod, alone and with unidentified members of the HOS and the Croatian Army, he participated in the killings, torture, illegal detention, forced labor, looting and unjustified destruction of the property of Serb civilians.

Last year, UDIK published the book “War Crimes in Sijekovac – Subject: Zemir Kovačević”. The book contains the first-instance and second-instance verdicts of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the list of victims from Sijekovac. It was published in memory of the innocent victims of Sijekovac.

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