Survivors are today commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1993 slaughter of 116 civilians in Ahmici, a village near the central Bosnian town of Vitez, that was attacked by Bosnian Croat forces at the beginning of the Bosniak-Croat war.
Forces of the Croatian Defense Council (HVO) attacked the village on April 16, 1993, as part of an ethnic cleansing operation.
According to the local war victims association called “April 16”, some of the bodies of the 116 Bosniak victims have not been found yet.
“Each anniversary brings back memories of every minute of what went on in Ahmici 25 years ago,” head of the victims' association, Hazrudin Bilic, told the Fena news agency. “After this war crime, the biggest tragedy is that the location of 29 bodies are still unknown.”
Six people were convicted for their involvement in the Ahmici massacre, five of them in the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Among them was Dario Kordic, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2001, but was released in 2014 after serving two thirds of his sentence. A court in Bosnia also sent Pasko Ljubicic behind bars for 10 years prison for his part in the massacre.
Members of the “April 16” association said, however, that they are not satisfied with the prosecution of those responsible. They said sentences at the ICTY were only handed down to those who had command responsibility for the atrocity, while most of those who actually perpetrated the crimes have not been prosecuted.
The commemoration will take place on the premises of the Islamic Community in Vitez, and a with a religious ceremony in Old Vitez and the local mosque in Ahmici. Bosniak member of the country’s tripartite Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, will also visit the site.