Written by Sara Sarajlic
31.05 marks a painful and sad day. On this day, 24 years ago, Serbian authorities ordered all non-Serbs to mark their houses with white flags or sheets and to wear white armbands when leaving the house. During the Prijedor massacre more than 3000 people were murdered, among them 102 children who never got the chance to grow up simply because of hatred towards Muslims and the ideology of a great Serbia. Some of these children would have been my age today. Also 31 000 were detained in prison camps and 53 000 were forced to flee.
Prijedor massacre is the second largest massacre, after Srebrenica genocide, committed during the Bosnian war and is also among one of the greatest atrocities that has occurred on European soil since WW2. It is therefore particularly hard that ICTY did not recognize Prijedor massacre as genocide during the Karadzic trial.
We must say that we were lucky enough to be born in Croatia when the Bosnian war started and even though we did not experience the war first hand, we do still live with the consequences of the war, especially the Prijedor massacre. Almost our entire family is from Prijedor area, and today we all live widespread across the world due to the atrocity that occurred there.
So today is white Armband Day which is in memory of thousands of innocent non-Serb civilians who were murdered in the town of Prijedor and its surrounding areas, as well as those who were detained in prison camps.
Our hearts go out to all the families who have lost a loved one!
– Forgive but never forget. Prijedor 31.05.92