International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Sarajevans mark 28th anniversary of Markale massacre

August 28, 2023

Numerous citizens, relatives, friends and officials of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina observed a minute of silence and recited a prayer, remembering the people of Sarajevo who were killed on this day in 1995 at the entrance to the Markale city market.

On this day, 28 years ago, a shell was fired from the position of Mount Trebevic, by the Army of Republika Srpska, at Sarajevo's Markale marketplace, killing 43 and seriously and lightly injuring 84 people. The tragically murdered Sarajevo citizens are remembered by their families, friends and fellow citizens.

The central city market was one of the few locations where it was possible to get food during the siege of Sarajevo. That is how, on August 28, 1995, Markale was a place that meant survival for many. At 11 o'clock, five powerful detonations were heard, and Markale experienced a bitter fate.

A mortar shell fired from the position of the Republika Srpska Army from the direction of Trebevic exploded at the entrance to Sarajevo's City Market, which is considered one of the most horrific crimes in the capital, of the 1992-1995 war in BiH.

The first massacre in Markale took place in 1994, when 68 people died and 144 were wounded in the same place from a mortar shell.

The Markale massacres are among the worst crimes committed during the siege of Sarajevo, which lasted 1,425 days and is still one of the longest sieges in the history of modern warfare.

After the Markale massacre, the first NATO military intervention followed.

During those years, 11,541 Sarajevo citizens were killed in the city, including 1,601 children.

Sarajevo was bombarded almost continuously, and an average of 329 shells fell on Sarajevo every day. The city also holds one of the saddest records in history – on July 22, 1993, a total of 3,777 shells were fired at it.

The Serb side never claimed responsibility for the massacre that took place on August 28, 1995. They claimed that the then Republic of BIH Army was behind the attack. However, the facts that were presented before the Hague Tribunal irrefutably denied this.

Sarajevo Canton Assembly Chairman, Elvedin Okeric, said in his address that the residents were constantly the target of attacks during the siege.

“This was not the first time that Sarajevo citizens, trying only to survive, were killed not by accident. We saw that in their queues for water and bread,” Okeric said adding:

“Regardless of the past, our future must be built on the equality of all peoples and citizens. We must persist in the ideas on which Bosnia and Herzegovina can and must survive, namely the ideas of coexistence, mutual respect and tolerance. But for it to be so, justice must be served and the perpetrators of these terrible crimes must be punished.”

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/sarajevans-mark-28th-anniversary-of-markale-massacre/

isn eth zurichBSAdsNATOCentral and Eastern European Online LibraryEurActiv | European Union Information Website