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29 May 2015
News

Prijedor Authorities Silent on Memorial for Child Victims

Amer Jahic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
The White Armband Day will be commemorated on Sunday, May 31, with a walk through the streets of Prijedor and the laying roses in the main square with the names of killed children in the city.
The day marks 23 years since non-Serb residents on the city were told by Prijedor’s Serb authorities that they must hang white flags on their houses and put white armbands on their hands when they walk the streets.
 
The Serb authorities had taken over the city a month before.
 
Prijedor radio issued a broadcast from the new authority stating that “in these Kozara regions we must never again have war and slaughter and ruin and burning.”
 
The Civic initiative “Because I Care” asked citizens to mark the International White Armband Day in Prijedor.
 
“We call all people to come to Prijedor and stand against segregation and discrimination of victims,” the initiative said.

Initiative says that people who come can help parents of the 102 children killed get a memorial in the city. The petition for the monument was handed to authorities last year, but the Prijedor municipal assembly hasn’t decided on the proposal yet.
 
“The day will also represent a protest against this action of the local authorities,” the initiative said.
 
According to Hague Tribunal estimates, around 3,000 people were killed in Prijedor, and many have not been found. The Hague and the Bosnian state court sentenced 28 people to nearly 500 years in prison for crimes against non-Serbs in Prijedor.
 
Milomir Stakic, a high-ranking political figure, was given 40 years in prison for his role in the ethnic cleansing in the city. According to the verdict, Stakic was part of a joint criminal enterprise whose goal was to “consolidate Serb control in the municipality.”
 
“This resulted in widespread killings by Serb forces in the surrounding areas and camps,” the verdict stated.
 
The US state of Michigan this year declared May 31 as White Armband Day.
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