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English23/07/2019

HORRIFIC SUFFERING OF SERB JABUKA AWAITING JUSTICE FOR 27 YEARS

 

FOČA, July 23 /SRNA/ - A memorial service was held at the City Cemetery Božovac in Foči on Tuesday to mark the 27th anniversary of the mass killing of 43 Serbs in the Foča local community of Jabuka, who were killed at the doorstep by the Muslim troops from Goražde.

 

On July 23, 1992, the Army of BiH burnt 18 Serb villages at Jabuka, a Foča local community at the time, situated on the foothills of Mount Jahorina on the left bank of the Drina.

Muslim soldiers then brutally killed 43 Serb residents, including a 13-year-old boy Novo Elez, a blind old woman Milka Kovač, an immobile Zorka Simović, and a WWII veteran partisan and a hero of the Battle of Sutjeska and Syrmian Front Miloš Vuković.

Killed were also married elderly couples Milovan and Marija Skakavac, Miloš and Anđelka Trivun, Ostoja and Sofija Ćosović, and Drago and Joka Stojanović.

The local Orthodox church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord was mined and totally destroyed.

That day, Neđo Mastilo lost his brother Radislavko and many cousins.

"They did not discriminate, they killed everyone; they would ambush people in groves and it was very hard to escape. My uncle Marko, who was over 90, was killed a little farther away from the village as he was heading to the trees to hide; two elderly women, one of whom was blind and the other immobile, were found in a shed and burnt,” recounts Mastilo.

He notes that judicial institutions are taking no action at all.

"The idea is for both the witnesses and the perpetrators to all die so no one can be prosecuted,” said Mastilo.

Ljubiša Simović, the head of the Association of Expelled and Displaced Serbs and a witness to the crime, says the Serb victims were massacred and that the letter U was carved into their bodies.

He said that last year the case had finally arrived in the BiH Prosecutor’s Office.

"I don’t have high hopes given that the case has been ‘muted’ at the Prosecutor’s Office in Trebinje for so long and that we have given statements to both SIPA and international organisation. We have never encountered any understanding. Now it has reached the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and we have given our statements, but we haven’t seen any progress for nearly a year. We will persist with this and have at least some perpetrators brought to the court for we know the names of the people who carried out the operation,” said Simović.

After the war, Jabuka became a Federation community, so the remaining Serb population had to move out from their homes, whereas earthly remains of the killed people of Jabuka were then transferred to the City Cemetery Božovac in Foča.

This year too, the commemoration for the killed Jabuka natives will be held on the Transfiguration of Our Lord, August 19 near the monument in the yard of the reconstructed local church. /end/dš