The wreath-laying ceremony was held in Sarajevo where Muslim forces attacked a convoy killing 42 Yugoslav soldiers and officers, wounding scores and capturing over 200.
The commemoration ceremony, which saw a strong police presence, was attended by representatives of the subcommittee of the Serb Republic (RS) government tasked with marking of significant dates.
Former members of the Bosnian Muslim paramilitary forces, the Green Berets, and representatives of the authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina also gathered, on the other side of the Miljacka River, to place wreaths for their members who lost their lives in war.
The Serb entity’s Minister of Labor and Veterans’ Affairs Petar Đokić noted that on May 2 and 3, 1992, JNA members were killed in Dobrovoljačka Street despite the fact that an agreement had been reached on their peaceful withdrawal from the town.
The Yugoslav National Army (JNA) members were attacked in several locations in Sarajevo, and a majority of them, 32 soldiers, were Serbs. Other victims included six Croats, two Muslims and two ethnic Albanians. Those captured were held in concentration camps in Sarajevo for months.
“I am sad that we cannot pass freely through Sarajevo, without such police protection. It would be good for Sarajevo to finally face this crime after 21 years,” Đokić said.
As the RS delegation was laying wreaths, around ten former members of the Green Berets gathered on the other side of the Miljacka River near the Drvenija Bridge carrying flags wth depicting lilies.
They claim that since the ICTY in Hague released all the perpetrators, ”the international community made it clear that no crime was committed in Dobrovoljačka Street”
Head of a local organization gathering the unit’s former members, Vahid Alić, said that May 2 and 3, 1991 were “the most important for the survival of Bosnia-Herzegovina.”
The May 3 attack took place at the beginning of the war in Bosnia which ended in 1995. Members of the Muslim-dominated ‘Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina’ attacked the convoy with the goal of capturing soldiers to be exchanged for Izetbegović, who was detained the previous day at the airport after the fighting that day.
The secessionist Izetbegović was taken to the JNA (Yugoslav National Army) barracks in Lukavica in order to negotiate a safe passage for the soldiers, officers, and civilians employed by the military at the Second Army Area command, and other barracks in Sarajevo that were under siege of the Muslim forces.
The negotiations were held by the Second Army Area commander Gen. Milutin Kukanjac, UN peacekeeper’s commander Gen. Lewis McKenzie, Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency member Ejup Ganić, while Izetbegović himself, who was president of the then Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency, guaranteed that the personnel could leave the town safely.
Once the agreement was reached, the JNA convoy moved out of the command HQ in the Bistrik neighbourhood, headed by an APC carrying Izetbegović, McKenzie, and Kukanjac.
But the convoy travelled only a kilometre when the APC left Dobrovoljačka St. and some 20 members of the Territorial Defense blocked the vehicle, cutting off the rest of the convoy, which then came under fire from nearby homes, from a distance of some 50 meters.
According to accounts of the massacre, the JNA members – mostly young recruits – sat helplessly in their vehicles and on the trucks, while the survivors testified about the brutality of the killings. They said the attackers pulled some unarmed soldiers, officers and civilians out of the vehicles, where they humiliated, wounded and killed them.
In his book “Peacekeeper: The road to Sarajevo“, Gen. McKenzie described what he saw:
“I could see the Territorial Defense soldiers (Alija Izetbegović jihadists) push the rifles through the windows of civilians cars, which were part of the convoy, and shoot (…) I saw blood flow down the windshields. It was definitely the worst day of my life.“
Nobody has been brought to justice for this crime. In January 2012, the Bosnia-Herzegovina Prosecution halted an investigation against 14 suspects, including Jovan Divjak and Ejup Ganić, stating that their actions “bore no hallmarks of a crime.”
The prosecution also said that the investigation would continue “until the perpetrators have been found for the killing of seven and wounding of 14 persons.”
But the RS police records show that 42 members of the JNA and civilians were killed on the day, five officers among them, while 73 people were injured, and 215 taken as prisoners into Muslim held concentration camps in Sarajevo.
Former Minister of Interior of Bosnia, Alija Delimustafic, told the court in 2002 that Ejup Ganic commanded over Bosnian Muslim units that blocked the withdrawing ethnic Serbian soldiers who were slaughtered on the streets of Sarajevo.
The slaughter is remembered as the Dobrovoljacka Street Massacre and it happened on May 3, 1992.
“Ganic was in the role of the supreme commander of the [Bosnian Muslim] army,” said Delimustafic and named others who were in Ganic’s cabinet.
Serbia wants Ganic extradited from the UK where he is being held in order for him to stand trial.
So how did the massacre occur?
Former Yugoslav (YU) Army captured the Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic and used him to cut a deal with his armed thugs to withdraw from the city and leave Sarajevo under Islamic control.
A deal between the YU army, UN and Ganic (Muslims) was brokered whereby YU army would pull out along with Izetbegovic and once through the YU army would let Izetbegovic go.
Izetbegovic was at the head of the withdrawing convoy.
Ejup Ganic then ordered his commander Hasan Efendic to cut off the convoy once Izetbegovic is through and kill the YU soldiers.
Delimustafic says that during that decision, Ganic was in the company of Izetbegovic’s son Bakir, who is still free in Bosnia and leads a political party.
Izetbegovic and Ganic were in communications via walkie-talkies so the YU officers were aware of what was said between them and heard commands Ganic issued.
Former General Dusan Kovacevic, citing the walkie-talkie conversations, says that Ganic explicitly ordered for the convoy to be slaughtered.
“Him [Ganic] ordered his services to block off Dobrovoljacka and to kill all of them. Ganic said then – ‘Burn and kill, no one is to pass before the arrival of UN,” says Kovacevic.
In Dobrovoljacka, Bosnian Muslim slaughtered 42 withdrawing soldiers, wounded 72 and captured 215 which were later beaten and molested by Bosnian Muslims.
Ganic’s decision to break a deal already agreed to is, of course, legal in Islam.
Under the Islamic doctrine of Taqiyya “deception is not only permitted in certain situations but may be deemed obligatory in others,” writes Raymond Ibrahim Middle East Quarterly.
He cites the Qur’anic verse 3:28 that says “Let believers [Muslims] not take infidels [non-Muslims] for friends and allies instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with God-unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions.”
Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari explained it like this: “If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harbouring inner animosity for them“. [my emphasis]
Moreover, Ibn al-’Arabi declares that “in the Hadith [sayings and actions of Muhammad], practising deceit in war is well demonstrated. Indeed, its need is more stressed than the need for courage.”
Therefore, writing for the Associated Press, certain Aida Cerkez-Robinson writes: “But as the convoy was passing through a narrow downtown street, Bosnian forces launched an attack, trying to free Izetbegovic.”
… but a deal to free him was brokered by the UN?
In Operation Deliberate Force Pb, author Tom Ripley on page 33 says that “Bosnian leaders, including Deputy President Ejup Ganic, tell the BBC that their war strategy is to use anti-Serb propaganda in the mass media to force a massive military intervention.”
Aida Cerkez is in good company then.
sources: BETA, TANJUG, B92 http://www.b92.net/eng/news/comments.php?nav_id=85994
Julia Gorin, http://www.juliagorin.com/wordpress/?p=2351
M. Bozinovic, http://serbianna.com/analysis/archives/434