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Mourners including relatives, friends and ordinary Sarajevans gathered on Friday to lay flowers to commemorate one of the most violent days in the city’s history – the shelling of the Markale marketplace on August 28, 1995.
The shell fired from positions controlled by the Bosnian Serb Army killed 43 civilians, including three children, while 84 people were injured.
“This crime committed in Sarajevo targeted the civilian population who were under siege for years,” Senida Karovic, president of the Union of Civilian War Victims of Sarajevo Canton, told BIRN.
Karovic said that only the convictions of all of those involved in the attack, direct perpetrators and commanders, would “bring some sort of satisfaction” to the victims.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague sentenced Stanislav Galic, commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the Bosnian Serb Army, to life in prison and another commander, Dragomir Milosevic, to 29 years for crimes committed in Sarajevo, including the shelling of Markale.
The verdict in the Galic case stated that the massacre “represents an example of a shelling incident where civilians were deliberately targeted”.
Another shell also hit the Markale market in February 1994, killing 68 people and wounding 144 more.
The Hague Tribunal sentenced former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic to life imprisonment for terrorising the population of Sarajevo during the siege. Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic was also sentenced to life for the same crimes but his appeal is ongoing.
But despite strong evidence that emerged in their superiors’ trials, officers who led brigades of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Sarajevo-Romanija Corps as it targeted Sarajevo with shells and sniper fire have never been indicted.
Data available to the Union of Civilian War Victims of Sarajevo Canton suggests that during the siege of Sarajevo, which lasted 1,425 days, an average of 329 projectiles fell on the city each day.