BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 27 July 2003 — Former Bosnian Muslim prisoners of war put up a memorial plaque yesterday at the site of one of the most notorious concentration camps held by Serbs during the country’s 1992-1995 war. Some 200 people attended a ceremony at the site of the Keraterm camp in the northwestern town of Prijedor, now located in the Bosnian Serb entity of the country, police told AFP.
No incidents were reported during the ceremony, the first of its kind in the Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska (RS), which together with the Muslim-Croat Federation makes up postwar Bosnia. Some 1,000 Muslims were detained in the Keraterm camp, of whom some 300 were killed or are still reported missing, said an official of the Muslim association of prisoners of war from Prijedor, Sabahudin Garibovic.
He urged Serb authorities to reveal information on sites of secret mass graves containing the remains of murdered Muslims. Images of the emaciated inmates from Keraterm and the neighboring camps of Omarska and Trnopolje standing behind barbed wire shocked the world when they were broadcast in 1992.
Several thousand Muslims and Croats were detained in the three camps, the most notorious of the Bosnian war. Garibovic also called on Serb prisoners of the war to mark the sites of the camps, located in the territory of the Muslim-Croat Federation, where they had been detained.
Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war claimed some 200,000 lives, while some 2.2 million people, approximately half of the country’s population, were forced to flee their homes.
Meanwhile, a leading Sarajevo daily said yesterday the killing of Saddam Hussein’s sons in Iraq has increased the moral obligation on Washington to finally track down and arrest Bosnia’s two top war crimes suspects. Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his army commander Ratko Mladic, indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal in 1995 for genocide and war crimes their troops allegedly committed during the country’s 1992-95 war, are both still at large.
Three more explosions shook Kosovo early yesterday but caused no casualties just two days after one person was killed and five injured in a grenade attack, a UN official said. It was not immediately clear if the explosions had any link to the one near the UN Mission in Kosovo headquarters in the flash point town of Kosovska Mitrovica on Thursday.
Angela Joseph, a spokeswoman for the UNMIK police, said the explosions occurred in the provincial capital Pristina, the northern town of Podujevo and a village in southeastern Kosovo. “I cannot speculate whether there is any connection between the explosions (yesterday) or whether they were possibly synchronized,” she said.
Police said the target for Thursday’s attack, in which two hand grenades were thrown in front of the building in a busy area, was probably not the UN police station as officials initially indicated.