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NEVESINJE, JULY 12 /SRNA/ - Minister of Labour, War Veterans and Disabled Persons Protection, Milenko Savanovic, stated today in Krekovi near Nevesinje that a million Serbs suffered in BiH during the First and Second World Wars and in the 1990s of the last century, and said that Republika Srpska is the only guarantor of Serbs’ survival.


"The unity of our politics, the army and the people has provided the state of Serbs –Republika Srpska for the first time west of the Drina River, which is the only guarantor for biological survival. Anyone who tries to interfere politically and call for civil rights and abuse one's tragedy should not mess around - Republika Srpska is paid with blood," Savanovic has stated in his address at the 143nd anniversary of the uprising in Herzegovina -"Nevesinje Rifle".

He has pointed out that Republika Srpska is a historical aspiration of the Serb people to remain in this region.

"Since the arrival of the Serbs in this region, since the 9th century, many have given their lives for freedom and justice. Viva Republika Srpska, Serbia and the Serb people. One day let the Serb people not be separated by the Drina River as a border line, but by the Drin River as a river on which left and right riverbanks Serb people live," Savanovic has said.

He has said that the Serbs also suffered under the Serb politics that formed the Kingdom of SHS, then Yugoslavia, followed by the formation of the NDH in which Serbs were being killed at every turn.

Savanovic has pointed out that the significance of Herzegovina uprisings in 1875, 1882 and 1941 was that they encouraged the Serb people to fight against the occupiers.

He has recalled that 143 years ago the Herzegoving heroes, armed with bravery, stood up against the Ottoman Empire.

"The champions of that time, from Gutic, Tunguz, Radovic, Zimonjic and others, stood before their own people to try to improve their position, and raised the people against tyranny. The uprising was extended to other municipalities, even to Serbia and Montenegro, which led to Serbian-Turkish war. Soon after, the Berlin Congress took place, which declared Serbia and Montenegro a state, but the expectations of the Serb people from these territories to join Serbia were let down," Savanovic has said.

He has said that after one tyranny led to another - Austro-Hungarian, which was led by a project of a Roman Catholic factor designed in the mid-19th century – that there should not be the Serbs west of the Drina River - one third of whom should be physically liquidated, one-third should be converted into Catholicism and one-third should be expelled.

Savanovic has noted that the suffering continued in the Second World War.

"In 75 years, during the First and Second World War and the 1990s of the 20th century, one million of Serbs were killed in BiH," Savanovic has said.

Chair of the Presidency of the Republika Srpska War Veterans Organisation, Dusko Miletic, has said that the Nevesinje Rifle was the beginning of the end of the Ottoman occupation.

"It was never hard for the Herzegovinian to shed blood for freedom, which was also shown in the patriotic war," said Miletic.

He has pointed out that the Herzegovina Uprising is a guideline of how important the unity of the Serb people is, as there was not unity then, who knows what the fate of the Serb people would be.

The 143rd anniversary of the Nevesinje Rifle was marked by holding memorial service, laying wreaths and a suitable programme today in the village of Krekovi. Prior to it, the Divine Liturgy was served in the Church of St. Basil of Ostrog in Nevesinje.

The first Nevesinje Rifle was an uprising on the territory of Nevesinje municipality occurred on July 9, 1875 against the Ottoman authorities, which quickly spread throughout BiH, with the support of Serbia and Montenegro.

The uprising took place in the village of Krekovi in the municipality of Nevesinje, and then began to spread. It eventually grew into a Serbian-Turkish war. Soon the Berlin Congress took place in 1878, when Serbia and Montenegro gained independence and territorial expansion, while Austria-Hungary occupied BiH for 30 years.

The second Nevesinje Rifle, known as the Ulog Uprising broke out in January 1882 with an attack on the Austro-Hungarian gendarmerie station in Ulog over the adoption of the so-called Military Law on Compulsory Army Service for young men from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Nevesinje Antifascist Rifle represents armed resistance against the Ustashas on June 3, 1941, in the village of Drezanj after the massacre of 27 people in the village of Udreznje near Nevesinje.

The 143th anniversary of the uprising in Herzegovina – the Nevesinje Rifle is being organized by the Republika Srpska Government’s Committee to foster the tradition of liberation wars. /end/vos