The Croatian fighters who killed elderly Serbs who didn’t flee their villages when the army’s Operation Storm crushed Serb rebel forces in 1995 have never been convicted - and officials who obstructed the investigations have never faced sanctions.
The 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacres is a particularly distressing time for people whose loved ones disappeared in July 1995 but whose remains have not yet been found, identified and laid to rest in proper graves.
Public displays of support for war crimes defendants, nationalist political rhetoric and Bosnian Serb officials’ denials of the Srebrenica genocide are causing unease among Bosniaks who have returned to the town after fleeing during the war.
Samir Mehic, a Bosnian guitarist nicknamed Bowie after his musical hero, was the rock’n’roll bard of wartime Srebrenica, but was killed in the July 1995 massacres alongside thousands of other men and boys from the town.
War crimes in the village of Zepa just after the Srebrenica massacres in July 1995 were initially tried as genocide, but the charge was eventually dropped, and 25 years on, most suspects have never even been indicted.
The Austrian Green Party told BIRN why MPs backed a proposed ban on an annual commemoration in Austria of Croatian Nazi-allied troops and civilians killed in World War II which has become a get-together for nationalists.
Several Bosniaks were saved by courageous interventions from individual Serbs who defied potential risks to help neighbours during wartime in the town of Vlasenica in 1992, when many were detained and killed by Bosnian Serb forces.
Trials with large numbers of defendants cannot resume because of the problem of safe social distancing at the Bosnian state court, which will further slow the process of dealing with the country’s huge backlog of war crimes cases.
No one has ever been charged with the killing of at least four minibus passengers travelling from Pale to Ilijas for a funeral in July 1992, with an investigation concluding that the vehicle was a legitimate military target.