Jezik / Language:
16 April 2015

Remembering the 116 Innocent Victims of the Ahmici Killings

Kenan Kavazović BIRN BiH Vitez

The 22nd anniversary of the death of 116 Bosniak civilians who were killed by extreme elements of the Croatian Defense Council was commemorated today in Ahmici, near Vitez.

Although more than two decades have passed since the attack on Ahmici, not all of the victims of this serious crime have been buried. 85 victims have been identified and buried. The remains of 31 more victims still haven’t been found.

On April 16, 1993, civilians were killed and buildings and homes were set on fire during the attack on Ahmici. A three month old baby was the youngest victim, and a person aged over 80 was the oldest.

“The Hague Tribunal processed those who issued the orders. It sentenced and processed only two direct perpetrators. Our prosecution and our court in Sarajevo have not processed or sentenced anyone so far. Standing here today, we are asking them whether they consider the Ahmici case complete and whether it was possible for only two direct perpetrators to kill 116 innocent civilians in Ahmici,” said Elvedin Kermo, the president of a victims association called “16th of April,” based Ahmici.

Advan Akeljic, the mayor of the municipality of Vitez, said this date symbolized a day of remembrance for the crimes that took place in Ahmici.

“Only the truth, and reconciliation based on the truth, without attempting to forget the events of the past, are preconditions for meaningful coexistence in this region,” Akeljic said.

Like in previous years, prayers were said for the 85 victims buried at the Shahid cemetery in Stari Vitez. However, the families of the remaining 31 victims are still searching for the remains of their loved ones.

“Each year we appeal to good people, to our Croat neighbours, to tell us where the bodies of the victims are, so we can bury them in a dignified manner,” said Elvedin Kermo.

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