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English26/03/2020

TODAY MARKS 28 YEARS SINCE SUFFERING OF SERBS IN SIJEKOVAC

 

BROD, MARCH 26 /SRNA/ - Today marks 28 years since the war crime against 46 Serb civilians in Sijekovac, outside Brod, committed by regular armed forces from Croatia and paramilitary Bosniak-Croat units from BiH.

 

Chair of the Presidency of the War Veterans Organisation Brod, Zoran Vidić, told SRNA there would be no organised marking this year given the current epidemiological situation.

"According to the decision of the Committee for nurturing the tradition of liberation wars of the Republika Srpska Government, and based on the conclusion by the Republika Srpska Government of March 10 regarding the epidemiological situation in Republika Srpska, there will be no organised commemoration," Vidić said.

According to him, the priest will serve a prayer today with a limited number of attendees, after which a delegation consisting of Brod Mayor Ilija Jovičić and representatives of the War Veterans Organisation will lay wreaths.

Vidić recalled that members of the Martić and Dujanović families were killed on March 25, 1992 in Brod, and the following day the massacre took place in Sijekovac.

He pointed out that a horrific crime had been committed against the Serbs in Sijekovac, and 46 civilians, mostly women, children and the elderly, had been brutally murdered.

Vidić said the youngest victim was a boy of 17 and the oldest man of 77.

"Within one hour, nine Serbs were killed, most of them of the Milošević and Zečević families. The youngest was Drago Milošević /aged 17/ and the oldest Vaso Zečević /aged 77/. 15 houses were burned down in Sijekovac, as well as the Church of the Holy Martyr Ognjena Marija," Vidić said, urging the faithful Serb people to light candles for the martyrs of Novi Sijekovac at their homes or at the church.

He thanks everyone who attended commemorations previous years to remember the suffering of Serbs in Sijekovac, pointing out that this year, it is necessary to obey all orders and instructions issued by the competent institutions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Vidić said that March for the Serbs in Brod was a painful and very sad month and that March 3 was recorded in the history of Brod as the day when Serbs from the territory of the then municipality of Bosanski Brod were exposed to open aggression from Croatia in 1992.

"A large number of heavily armed Croatian soldiers crossed the bridge from Slavonski Brod that day. The attack on the Serb population began on the main Brod-Derventa road, i.e. in Stadionska Street, when the Croat-Muslim forces together with 108th Brigade of the Croatian National Guard /ZNG/ occupied the city centre," said Vidić.

He recalled that there were video recordings about the Croatian army getting across the bridge into Brod, which were used in the documentary "From Destruction to Liberty of Brod".

According to statements and documents in the possession of the Brod War Veterans Organisation, on March 3, 1992, a meeting was held in Bosanski Brod by representatives of three nations, that is, political leaders of the parties whose councilors were sitting in the local assembly.

The purpose of the meeting was to calm tensions caused by the Bosniak-Croat referendum, and then-President of the Executive Board of the Bosanski Brod Municipality, Mihajlo Srijemac, proposed a solution to calm the tense situation.

Upon returning home, at 4.40 pm, Srijemac was wounded by members of the Croat-Muslim paramilitary units, assisted by the HOS forces from Slavonski Brod, who fired from the area of the Brod settlement of Mahala.
Surviving witnesses of that time described the continued intimidation of the local Serb population through physical harassment, robbery and camp detention.

The March 3 attack on Brod was the prelude to the most serious crimes that took place in the municipality that month. /end/vos