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MRKONJIĆ GRAD, APRIL 1 /SRNA/ - The 24th anniversary of the exhumation of a mass grave with mortal remains of 181 Serb soldiers and civilians killed in an attack of the Croatian Army, the Army of BiH and the Croatian Defense Council /HVO/ on Mrkonjić Grad Municipality was marked today in that Western Krajina Municipality.


A memorial service was held for those killed and wreaths were laid at the memorial at the Orthodox cemetery.

President of the Mrkonjić Grad Municipal Assembly Milenko Milekić has stressed that by marking these killing grounds a message is being sent to the whole world that these crimes will not be forgotten and that they will constantly fight for truth and justice.

“It hurts the most that these crimes were planned. They were committed constantly throughout the 20th century while those who ordered and committed them went unpunished - which means they are approved by world‘s powerful persons,” Milekić told reporters.

Secretary of the Municipal Organization of Families of Captured and Killed Soldiers and Missing Civilians Zdravko Karać, who discovered mortal remains of his brother Nedeljko and mother-in-law Mileva in the mass grave in Mrkonjić Grad, has said that scenes during the exhumation were horrific and that he can never forget them.

“It was cold and rainy in April, 1996. It was horrible to see victims massacred by blunt objects. They were all killed in cruel ways,” Karać said and added that he does not know if justice will ever be served.

Karać has explained that due to the current epidemiological situation, a gathering of a small number of people was organized.

During the aggression of the Croatian armed forces and the 5th Corps of the so-called Army of BiH against 13 western Krajina municipalities of Republika Srpska in September and October 1995, more than 120,000 Serbs were expelled from their ancestral homes.

After Republika Srpska regained the area of Mrkonjić Grad Municipality, the largest mass grave with 181 bodies of massacred Serbs was discovered at the Orthodox cemetery.

Ten women, 71 civilians, 97 members of the Republika Srpska Army and three members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are among them, and another 176 bodies were discovered in smaller mass graves in that municipality.

The exhumation of the mass grave started on April 1, 1996.

Even though the perpetrators and those who ordered the commission of these grave crimes are known, no one has yet been brought to justice. /end/sg