Friday

30th Sep 2022

Bosniak leader pays tribute to Serb victims

  • Bosniak leader Bakir Izetbegovic said he should have visited the massacre site of Kazani sooner. (Photo: Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Bosniak leader Bakir Izetbegovic, one of Bosnia's three heads of state, has paid tribute to civilians murdered by Muslims during the Bosnian war in 1993.

Izetbegovic put a wreath of flowers by the massacre site, Kazani, a ravine in the hills outside Sarajevo on Monday (13 June).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"I feel I have a debt [towards the victims]," said Izetbegovic, who serves as one of three members of Bosnia's rotating presidency.

He was accompanied by other Muslim leaders, including prime minister Denis Zvizdic. It was the first time that senior Muslim officials visited the massacre site of Kazani.

More than 100,000 people were killed in the Bosnian war of 1992-1995. The capital, Sarajevo, was held under siege by Bosnian Serb forces for more than three years. More than 10,000 people died because of Serbian shelling and sniper fire.

But Bosniak paramilitary groups also killed Serb civilians, a fact that many Bosniak Muslims for years failed to acknowledge.

Twenty-nine bodies have been found at Kazani so far. Many of them were not possible to identify. Most of the rest were Serbs, but investigators also recognised Croats, a Ukrainian couple and a Bosniak.

It is possible that more bodies remain in the Kazani pit, as the process of exhumation was halted and never completed.

Izetbegovic’s father, Alija, chaired the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time of the massacre. He was also in office in 1996 when the Bosnian government gave a war hero’s burial to Musan Topologic, known as Caco, the paramilitary leader who was in charge of the Kazani killings.

Izetbegovic said he should have come to Kazani sooner. He urged the people of Bosnia to unite and report murder locations where people’s bodies still remain, allowing them to finally be buried.

“I am ready to invest special efforts into this,” Izetbegovic said.

He also said he hoped his visit would inspire other Bosnian officials to make similar moves.

Miladin Vidakovic, president of the Serbian Civic Council, hailed the visit as a "brave gesture for Serb people and the families" of the victims.

Bosnian football fans may miss out on Euro 2016

European Broadcasting Union concerned that Bosnia may become the first country without a public broadcaster, meaning sports fans would miss watching the Euro competition.

Analysis

Bosnia's EU application masks turmoil

The former Yugoslavia republic said it will formally apply to the EU next Monday. But the country still faces a number of underlying problems that make accession an unrealistic possibility in the short term.

Feature

Why northeast Italy traded in League for Brothers of Italy

EUobserver spoke with several business figures and all confirmed they voted for Georgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy because it promised stability, less bureaucracy and tax cuts. Matteo Salvini's anti-EU rhetoric scared them, while they trust Meloni has "more common sense".

News in Brief

  1. EU ministers adopt measures to tackle soaring energy bills
  2. EU takes Malta to court over golden passports
  3. EU to ban Russian products worth €7bn a year more
  4. Denmark: CIA did not warn of Nord Stream attack
  5. Drone sightings in the North Sea 'occurred over months'
  6. Gazprom threatens to cut gas deliveries to Europe via Ukraine
  7. New compromise over EU energy emergency measures
  8. 15 states push for EU-wide gas price cap

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The European Association for Storage of EnergyRegister for the Energy Storage Global Conference, held in Brussels on 11-13 Oct.
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  3. European Committee of the RegionsThe 20th edition of EURegionsWeek is ready to take off. Save your spot in Brussels.
  4. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries

Latest News

  1. Ukrainian chess prodigy: 'we are not going to resign...anywhere'
  2. Going Down Under — EU needs to finish trade deal with Australia
  3. MEPs worry Russian disinfo weakens support for Ukraine
  4. Everything you need to know about the EU gas price cap plan
  5. Why northeast Italy traded in League for Brothers of Italy
  6. How US tech giants play EU states off against each other
  7. Deregulation of new GMO crops: science or business?
  8. The European shipping giants plying Putin's fossil-fuels trade

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us