Tomašica, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Last updated
Tomašica
Village
Bosnia and Herzegovina location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Tomašica
Coordinates: 44°52′N16°46′E / 44.86°N 16.77°E / 44.86; 16.77
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
Entity Republika Srpska
Municipality Prijedor
Population
 (1991)
  Total908
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)

Tomašica is a village in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Prijedor municipality of the Republika Srpska entity.

Contents

Mass grave

In August 2013, one of the larger primary mass grave sites from the Bosnian War was discovered by Bosnian authorities. Exhumation activities were assisted by forensic experts from the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and according to witnesses contain upwards of 1,000 Bosniak and Croat victims killed by Bosnian Serb forces. [1] Initial media reports placed the number of remains at 360. [2] Exhumations were postponed until spring due to winter weather, but experts are confident that the grave holds at least 850 bodies. [3]

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) gathered evidence from the area for possible use in prosecutions. [1] Thus far 16 Bosnian Serbs have been sentenced by the ICTY to a sum of 230 years for war crimes committed in Tomašica's municipality of Prijedor. [4] On November 25, 2013, Theodor Meron, president of the ICTY, visited the site and stated he was "face to face with horror". [5]

Once the bodies from the grave site were found, they were taken to a mortuary to begin the ICMP's DNA laboratory system. At the end of the process, the bodies would ideally be returned to their families for proper burial. The process for identifying the exhumed bodies involves pathologists, mortuaries, autopsies, DNA laboratories, data-matching software, court orders, and much more. [6]

In October 2014, the case of Ratko Mladić was reopened in order to incorporate newly found evidence from the Tomasica grave site. The Prosecution was then able to include six expert and seven fact witnesses, and documentary evidence. Prior to this decision, the Chamber had ruled that the Prosecution could not use evidence related to Tomasica. [7]

Judges found that evidence from the Tomasica grave site held relevance. The Prosecution stated, “that the Material clarifies the organised and large-scale nature of killings in Prijedor, and the VRS’s (Army of Republika Srpska) role therein.” [7]

In June 2015, at the trial of Ratko Mladić, the forensic director of the ICMP, Thomas Parsons, testified that investigators had exhumed 385 sets of remains from Tomašica, and that 211 further remains had been removed from the site and reburied at Jakarina Kosa at some point after the war, meaning that a total of 596 bodies had been buried at Tomašica in 1992. [8]

Related Research Articles

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia UN ad hoc court

The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), was a body of the United Nations established to prosecute serious crimes committed during the Yugoslav Wars, and to try their perpetrators. The tribunal was an ad hoc court located in The Hague, Netherlands.

The Army of Republika Srpska, commonly referred to in English as the Bosnian Serb Army, was the military of Republika Srpska (RS), the self-proclaimed Serb secessionist republic, a territory within the newly independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, which it defied. Active during the Bosnian War (1992–95), it continued to exist as the armed forces of RS, one of two entities making up Bosnia and Herzegovina, until 2006 when it was integrated into the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Forces of the VRS perpetrated the Srebrenica massacre in 1995.

Srebrenica massacre Massacre of over 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks in Srebrenica region during the Bosnian War

The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide, was the July 1995 genocide of more than 8,000 Bosniaks, mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.

Bosnian genocide Murder of Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats during the Bosnian War

The Bosnian genocide refers to either the Srebrenica massacre or the wider crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing throughout areas controlled by the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) during the Bosnian War of 1992–1995. The events in Srebrenica in 1995 included the killing of more than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys, as well as the mass expulsion of another 25,000–30,000 Bosniak civilians by VRS units under the command of General Ratko Mladić.

Republika Srpska (1992–1995) Former proto-state

The Republika Srpska was a proto-state in Southeastern Europe under the control of the Army of Republika Srpska during the Bosnian War. It claimed to be a sovereign state, though this claim was not recognized by the Bosnian government, the United Nations, or any other recognized state. For the first few months of its existence, it was known as the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Omarska camp

The Omarska camp was a concentration camp run by Bosnian Serb forces in the mining town of Omarska, near Prijedor in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, set up for Bosniak and Croat men and women during the Prijedor massacre. Functioning in the first months of the Bosnian War in 1992, it was one of 677 alleged detention centers and camps set up throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war. While nominally an "investigation center" or "assembly point" for members of the Bosniak and Croatian population, Human Rights Watch classified Omarska as a concentration camp.

Keraterm camp Bosnian Serb concentration camp between 1992 and 1994

The Keraterm camp was a concentration camp established by Bosnian Serb military and police authorities near the town of Prijedor in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian War. The camp was used to collect and confine between 1,000–1,500 Bosniak and Bosnian Croat civilians.

The Korićani Cliffs massacre was the mass murder of more than 200 Bosniak and Croat men on 21 August 1992, during the Bosnian War, at the Korićani Cliffs on Mount Vlašić in central Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Sijekovac killings, also called the Sijekovac massacre, refers to the killing of Serb civilians, in Sijekovac near Bosanski Brod, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 26 March 1992. The assailants were members of Croat and Bosniak army units. The exact number of casualties is unknown. The initial reported number was eleven, while the Republika Srpska authorities listed 47, however, exhumations in Sijekovac carried out for two weeks in 2004 unearthed 58 bodies of victims, of whom 18 were children.

Milan Gvero was a retired Bosnian Serb Army general sentenced to five years in jail by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Bosnian War of 1992–95.

Prijedor ethnic cleansing war crimes by the Serb political and military leadership in the Prijedor region of Bosnia and Herzegovina

During the Bosnian War, there was an ethnic cleansing campaign committed by the Bosnian Serb political and military leadership - Army of the Republika Srpska, mostly against Bosniak and Croat civilians in the Prijedor region of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 and 1993. The composition of non-Serbs was drastically reduced: out of a population of 50,000 Bosniaks and 6,000 Croats, only some 6,000 Bosniaks and 3,000 Croats remained in the municipality by the end of the war. After the Srebrenica massacre, Prijedor is the area with the second highest rate of civilian killings committed during the Bosnian War. According to the Sarajevo-based Research and Documentation Center (IDC), 4,868 people were killed or went missing in the Prijedor municipality during the war. Among them were 3,515 Bosniak civilians, 186 Croat civilians and 78 Serb civilians. As of October 2013, 96 mass graves have been located and around 2,100 victims have been identified, largely by DNA analysis.

The Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadžić was a case before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands, concerning crimes committed during the Bosnian War by Radovan Karadžić, the former President of Republika Srpska. On 24 March 2016 he was found guilty of 10 of 11 counts of crime including war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, and sentenced to 40 years imprisonment. In March 2019, the sentence was increased to life in prison.

Radovan Karadžić former Serbian politician and war criminal

Radovan Karadžić is a Bosnian Serb former politician who served as the President of Republika Srpska during the Bosnian War, and was later convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Siege of Srebrenica 1992 - 1995 siege during the Bosnian War

The Siege of Srebrenica was a three-year siege of the town of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina which lasted from April 1992 to July 1995 during the Bosnian War. Initially assaulted by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and the Serbian Volunteer Guard (SDG), the town was encircled by the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) in May 1992, starting a brutal siege which was to last for the majority of the Bosnian War. In June 1995, the commander of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ARBiH) in the enclave, Naser Orić, left Srebrenica and fled to the town of Tuzla. He was subsequently replaced by his deputy, Major Ramiz Bećirović.

Ratko Mladić Commander of the Bosnian Serb military

Ratko Mladić is a Bosnian Serb former military commander and convicted war criminal who led the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) during the Yugoslav Wars. In 2017 he was found guilty of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

<i>Report about Case Srebrenica</i>

Report about Case Srebrenica was a controversial official report on the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was prepared by Darko Trifunović and published by the Republika Srpska Government Bureau for Relations with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1034 United Nations Security Council resolution

United Nations Security Council resolution 1034, adopted unanimously on 21 December 1995, after recalling previous resolutions including Resolution 1019 (1995), the Council discussed violations of international humanitarian law in the former Yugoslavia, specifically in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Trial of Ratko Mladić 2011–2017 war crimes trial at The Hague, Netherlands, concerning the Bosnian War

The Prosecutor v. Ratko Mladić was a war crimes trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Netherlands, concerning crimes committed during the Bosnian War by Ratko Mladić in his role as a general in the Yugoslav People's Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.

Svilile is a village in the municipality of Bratunac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is approximately 1.2 km northeast of Nova Kasaba.

Bosnian genocide denial Denial of Bosnian genocide

Bosnian genocide denial is an act of denying or asserting that the systemic Bosnian genocide against the Bosniak Muslim population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as planned and perpetrated in line with official and academic narratives defined and expressed by part of the Serb intelligentsia and academia, political and military establishment, did not occur, or at least it did not occur in the manner or to the extent that has been established by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) through its proceedings and judgments, and described by subsequent comprehensive scholarship.

References

  1. 1 2 Marshall, Penny. "21 years after the war the ground in Bosnia is giving up its secrets". ITV News. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  2. "Huge Bosnia mass grave excavated at Tomasica - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  3. "Winter halts digging at Bosnia's largest mass grave". news.trust.org. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  4. Sito-Sucic, Daria (2013-10-22). "Bosnia digging up mass grave hidden for 20 years by Serb silence". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  5. "UN tribunal's president visits Bosnian mass grave". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  6. Jennings, Christian (2013-11-10). "From Bosnia to Syria: the investigators identifying victims of genocide". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  7. 1 2 "Press | International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia". www.icty.org. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  8. "U nastavku suđenja Mladiću svjedočio forenzički direktor ICMP-a". www.avaz.ba. Retrieved 2016-04-21.