Sarajevo massacre remembered
By Jim Fish
BBC World Affairs Correspondent
It was one of the single most bloody events of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The single shell blast in Sarajevo's Markale market on 5 February 1994 killed 68 people and wounded more than 100.
The Muslim-led government blamed the besieging Serb forces.
The blast in the crowded market place killed 68 people
They, in turn, accused the government of shelling its own people, to win international sympathy.
A report by United Nations peacekeepers at the time was inconclusive, although there have been persistent rumours that a secret UN report later pointed the finger of blame at the government.
A mortar shell landed in the crowded market place just after noon, scything down the mainly civilian shoppers and traders between the tightly packed stalls.
Rescue workers and UN personnel who rushed to help described a hellish scene spattered with blood and body parts.
What aroused suspicion in some quarters was that the market was surrounded by high buildings and would normally have been considered safe from all but the most precisely targeted shell.
Other reports noted that television crews were on the scene, filming within seconds of the blast.
Indeed foreign broadcasters at the time, including at the BBC in London, were surprised at the speed and shocking detail with which they received the raw television pictures from Sarajevo.
General Michael Rose, the British head of the Sarajevo-based United Nations Protection Force (Unprofor), said at the time that he could not be sure who was responsible.
But in his memoir, Fighting for Peace, General Rose relates how three days after the atrocity he told the Deputy Commander of the Bosnian government forces, General Divjak, that the mortar shell had indeed been fired from their own side, according to UN experts.
That proved to be a telling intervention from the British general. Within days the government and the Serbs had agreed to a ceasefire which resulted, under Nato pressure, in the removal of most of the Bosnian Serbs' heavy weapons from the Sarajevo area, and the first loosening of the nearly two-year siege.
Although the UN never publicly accused the Bosnian Government of shelling its own people, Unprofor did accuse government forces of firing to provoke the Serbs, and of using hospitals and public buildings as cover for such fire.
Under General Rose, Unprofor was firmly focused on preserving or extending ceasefires, and opposed to any escalation of the fighting which might drag Nato or the Western powers into conflict.
The Bosnian Government, on the other hand, was deeply frustrated by the arms embargo and Western diplomacy, which it felt tied its hands and those of its hard-pressed troops.
In such an atmosphere of mutual mistrust, the Markale massacre 10 years ago and a similar attack in August 1995 became the focuses of outrage, recrimination, and ultimately successful military action by Nato forces to lift the siege of Sarajevo and bring the two sides to the negotiating table.
(Den Galna Serben comment start)
Good article turns sour
This far the reader will have pretty much objective information about the events that took place on February 5, 1994 in the Sarajevo Markale marketplace. A good informative article, end of story.
However BBC just could not resist to throw a low punch against the Serbs by this incredible claim:
BBC claims that “What angered many Sarajevans was that even if their government had shelled its own civilians in order to drag the Western powers into war against the Serbs, it was the Serbs who were responsible for the protracted shelling of the city and for the deaths of at least 10,000 people, including almost 1,800 children.”
If anyone at all have made such an incredible claim, then it must have been members of the Muslim forces that were staging massacres and executions of its own people. Normal people will never say anything like that.
What the BBC fails to claim is that what angers ALL Serbs around the globe is the fact that even if shells from Serbian positions killed people, It was the MUSLIMS who WANTED the WAR and the Muslims who STARTED the WAR, and therefore the MUSLIMS are RESPONSIBLE for all the deaths in Bosnia.
(Den Galna Serben comment End)
Many Years Later....
2010 - President of Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic on trial in Hague ICTY.
In order to prove his claim, Karadzic presented a video from the Markale market in Sarajevo on 5 February 1994, which showed empty tables in one part, and dead bodies in another. He said that some of the bodies were dummies and some were corpses of soldiers who were killed earlier and brought to the market.
The prosecution asked for the authenticity of the video, and Karadzic replied that the video was recorded by "Muslim television" in Sarajevo and shown only once "by mistake". After that, according to Karadzic, only the edited version of the same video was shown on television. The Tribunal refused to admit the video into evidence
Click to read about Karadzic vs Harland
2014 – HAGUE – During his testimony in defense of Radovan Karadzic, former Bosnian Muslim policeman stated before the Hague Tribunal that the grenade that murdered 66 and left 140 persons injured at Markale market in Sarajevo, was actually fired by (Muslim) Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina , by order of then – leader Alija Izetbegovic.
Under the coded pseudonym KW -586 , the witness, hidden behind the adjusted voice , stated that he was member of the Bosnian Muslim special unit “Pearls “, (1992-1994) , when he was in charge of securing the Presidency in period when the Body held sessions at the National Bank building in Sarajevo .
The Witness KW -568 claimed that due to his duty he have had the opportunity to hear what the then – Bosnian Muslim President Alija Izetbegovic, together with his son Bakir and the head of the Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina Reis- ul- ulema Mustafa Ceric and other officials spoke at meetings . The witness accused Izetbegovic for planning terrorist attacks on Bosnian Muslim, in order to cause civilian casualties in Sarajevo, Markale as well as in Srebrenica in order to accuse Serbs and extort NATO intervention in favor of the Muslims.
Click to read all about the testimony of witness KW - 568
Movieclip: Markale One 1 of 5 (Vuk Jovanovic)
Movieclip: Markale One 2 of 5 (Vuk Jovanovic)
Movieclip: Markale One 3 of 5 (Vuk Jovanovic)
Movieclip: Markale One 4 of 5 (Vuk Jovanovic)
Movieclip: Markale One 5 of 5 (Vuk Jovanovic)
Source: BBC News / Srpska-mreza.com / ThereMustBeJustice / Milosevic.org