Petar Djokic: Republika Srpska will not give up punishing criminals

Petar Đokić

Brod – On the occasion of the 22 years since the crime against 46 Serbs in Sijekovac near Brod, the Republika Srpska Minister of Labour and Veterans’ Affairs, Petar Djokic, said that Srpska will never give up its request for justice and for punishment of those who planned, organised and committed the crimes.

“We are not satisfied with what the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, the BiH Court or the ICTY have done so far in the Sijekovac case. This was the first war crime committed in BiH, and does it really take so much time to convict someone for it?” Djokic asked.

He said that Croatian Army soldiers on March 25, 1992 committed a heinous crime against one family in the town, and then, on March 26, Croatian soldiers in Sijekovac killed nine civilians at the thresholds of their homes, killing in the following days a total of 46 civilians.

”It is very important for us to pay our respects every year to those innocents killed by members of the regular Croatian Army which had crossed the Sava River and was stationed in the then Bosanski Brod. They later decided to start their criminal actions, and so established a spiral of crimes and started the war in BiH,” Djokic said.

The president of the Republika Srpska Veterans’ Organisation, Pantelija Curguz, said that this was the first organised and planned crime by the Croatian regular army and the event which introduced BiH to a bloody civil war which defined the character of the conflict in BiH.

“What is hardest for us is that no one has yet been brought to justice for these crimes, and we all are unwittingly helping to see this not to happen even today. The moment I think we have collected material evidence and discovered the perpetrators, some people by their statements or by some moves then make the situation yet more complex and enable the perpetrators to evade justice,” Curguz said.

He added that everyone should make their contribution to finally having the Sijekovac case prosecuted and to seeing the perpetrators of this the most monstrous crime from the beginning of the BiH war brought to justice.

The 22 years since the killing of 46 Serbian civilians in Sijekovac near Brod were marked by the Holy Liturgy in the Sijekovac church which was served by His Eminence the Bishop of Zvornik and Tuzla, Hrizostom, by a memorial service for those killed and addresses by officials.

Together with the families of the Sijekovac residents massacred, the memorial service was attended by a delegation of the Republika Srpska Parliament, the heads of Brod and Modrica Municipalities, Ilija Jovicic and Mladen Krekic, respectively, representatives of the 3rd /Republika Srpska/ Infantry Regiment of the BiH Armed Forces, representatives of many organisations that came into being after the Homeland War, and a great number of citizens of Brod and Derventa Municipalities.

The bloody events in Sijekovac, where 46 Serbian civilians were killed, established a spiral of crimes in BiH, and on just the first day nine civilians were killed.(SS)