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Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada


Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada
Published: January 28, 2011  

When preparing this paper, I have been thinking a lot about difficulties of writing on the top so painful while in the same time so important for our future. The paper deal with true events and with facts. Each event, each name, and each location are truthful. The destiny of children mentioned in this paper reflects the cruelty of the war in which the adults decide upon destiny of children even upon life and death.

1. Prnjavor in the year 1984
My nephew Amir, who was then 11 years old and attended the fourth grave of the primary school, returned one day from school crying. His teacher, one exceptionally nice Serb woman, summoned all the children to come to the school next morning and take part in the cross race celebrating the Orthodox Easter. For children, it meant they would rejoice, playing. However, there was another woman, the school pedagogue, who came to say that it was the race planned only for the Serb children. Although he was not so much aware of Fascism, my little nephew was clever enough to understand that they would not be allowed to run because last year a Bosniak boy won the race. The story made me think of the Berlin Olympics and Hitler’s reaction when a black man won. Somewhat later, this same teacher was forced to come and explain to the children that Bosniaks and Croats among them should not complete their class with excellent marks. Still, she evaluated the children consciously despite the orders issued by the authorities. That is why she is considered to be the hero by most of her students.
What could one say about this woman who is supposed to be the school pedagogue? She is most probably still poisoning the children psyche with fascism and creates future nationalists.

My nephew had a Serb neighbor Sladjan. The two boys played together and grew up together. And then, in 1989, Sladjan came with a traditional Serb Chetnik cap and started singing hthe songs celebrating the Serb royalist paramilitary from the WWII. I asked him where did he get the cap from and how come he knew that old song but the little boy told me that his grandpa had taken him to Kosovo(he took him to Gazimestan) and that Petar was the Serb king who fought against the Turks.

Good Lord, I thought at the moment, what was the old man doing to his own grandson? Later on, Sladjo came to visit Amir less and less and refused to play with him. Sladjo’s father stood by the Serb nationalists, went to Croatia to wage war and got killed there. Grandfather’s nationalism left Sladjo fatherless. Amir is still a refugee, but an excellent student of the multiethnic gymnasium in Sarajevo.

Sladjo is growing up in poverty, almost hunger. His grandfather is already dead, while Sladjo is growing up surrounded by fascist wishing to leave everything and emigrate. I have always thought that this is an awful story. However, I never knew what horror the children would have to experience in the years that followed. Now, when I belong to those very few people dealing with the issue of the missing persons, I am learning every day what kind of horrors were done to children in those years.

2. Children gone missing in the war

In the recent war, as it is the case with all wars, injustices are common. Children are very often used in wars; in the fighting itself and forced labor…There were any missing persons in this recent war in BH, children included. The State Commission has reports on 27,700 missing persons. So far, 6,500 remains were exhumed of which 3% were children. The records we gathered to not differ from those of the ICRG, whose evidence shows that there are 103 children bellow 10 years of age among the missing persons.
In the book of missing citizens of Prijedor, there are reports on 122 missing children.

3. Exhumed missing-missing persons

The State Commission, together with competent courts, exhumed so far near 180 of missing. There are the children ranging from 16 days to 18 years of age. I will mention only several of such cases, while each and every one of them forces us to think that among us, today still, there are those who have cause so much evil to these missing. To the missing who have never even threatened anyone.

-Ljubina near Sarajevo

Killed and gone missing-Ramin Hasib and Sefika with their four children.
-Ramic Mumaned, born in 1980
-Ramic Meliha, born in 1983
-Ramic Ahmed, born in 1989
-Ramic Amina, only a couple of days ago
All of them exhumed in 1996.


On September 22nd, 1992, the girl Didovic Azra, born on January 6th, 1991, was murdered with a bomb while sleeping in her crib. Only a couple of miles away the girl Behar Safeta, born in 1980, was also killed.
-Hrustovo near Sanski Most

In a single grave 11 children and 37 adults were exhumed:
Merdanovic Edita, born in 1991
Keranovic Sabina, born in 1990
Keranovic Asima, born in 1988
Keranovic Edin, born in 1986
Keranovic Almina, born in 1985
Keranovic Aldina, born in 1984
Keranovic Nahid, born in 1977
Brkovic Namka, born in 1975
3 unidentified children remains were also found.
They were all killed in 1992.

-Carakovo near Prijedor

In a mass grave, among 5 human remains, we have found:
-Behlic Anel, born in 1900; murdered in 1992.

Together with the child’s body, his toys have also been thrown in the grave.

Only a kilometer away, alongside a mother and grandmother, who had been killed, we have also exhumed:
-Hopovac Adis, born in 1986
-Hopovac Ibrahim, born in 1984
Both killed in 1992.


Djozo Jasminka and her son Anes were killed. On the wall of their house, the criminal murderers wrote with the child’s blood on the wall the following line: “remain in peace, you little baby-Turk”.

-Laniste near Kljuc

From a 22 meters deep cave, we have exhumed the bodies of Dzaferagic Almir, born in 1988, and his sister Dzaferovic Amila, born in 1992. Besides them, their mother was found and 10 more members of their family.

-Lipovaca near Nevesinje

From the 65 meters deep cave; we have pulled the skeletons of six children. Unfortunately, the criminals have disturbed and moved the grave so that these are not all the remains that had been there originally.


The body of Kajtaz Dzejlan, born in September of 1992 was exhumed. She was killed in July 1993.

-Tasovcici near Capljina

We have echumed Bucman Meliha and her children:
Bucman Adis, born in 1988
Bucman Adela, born in 1983

In 1993, Jusic Elvedina was killed at the age of 15.


On July 31st, 1993, Pilav Haris, born on December 6th, 1992, was killed. His mother Semsa was killed together with him.


In the village of Zecovi, the following children, belonging to one single family were killed:
Bacic Elvisa, born in 1988
Bacic Ernest, born in 1989
Bacic Ferida, born in 1979
Bacic Jasmin, born in 1984
Bacic Nermin, born in 1979
Bacic Nermina, born in 1986
Bacic Refika, born in 1987
Bacic Sabahudin, born in 1979
Bacic Semir, born in 1979
Bacic Sudbin, born in 1976
Bacic Zikret, born in 1976
Bacic ZIkreta, born in 1982

They were all killed in 1992. Together with then, 30 adult members were also killed. Nearby this site, a 3-year old boy Redzic Namir was also killed, together with his brother, mother, father, and grandparents. In the Keraterm camp, 16-year old Kadiric Nedzad has gone missing while in the Trnopolje camp, the 5-year old Mulalic Emira has gone missing. Today in Prijedor, in fron of the Secondary Educational Center building, the monument was built to these murderers of children. Most probably to stand there as the taken that these little ones would never be able to attend the school.
This and so many similar cases are many. Instead of enumerating them here we have attached to this paper the comprehensive list of murdered children.

4.Imprisioned children

The imprisonment of children is frequent occurrence in a war. In this war, the aggressor frequently used children in the operations of exchange of prisoners of war.
I will cite only several cases:
-from the Foca prison 3 minor girls were exchanged
-from Visegrad concentration camp a mother with two minor girls was exchanged
-in the Vlasenica camp, a little boy Ferhatbegovic Damir was born. Relived there for the first 16 months of his life and then was exchanged. To make it even worse, he has been registered by the ICRC as the POW.
-several boys from Srebrenica were also exchanged after having been kept in the camp.

5. Conclusion
Everyone’s life is worth as much as the whole universe. That of the child is worth even more. Unfortunately, a great injustice is being done to the children even after the war. The injustice is done in all spheres of life. I have not intention of listing all those injustices here, but I would mention one that falls under the domain of the activity undertaken by the State Commission. Numerous intelligence agencies, individuals, and particularly the police in Yugoslavia, Croatia, and Republika Srpska possess information on the localities of both mass and individual graves. If we know that dozen of thousands of children still know nothing about their beloved ones, then the hiding of those information also represents the act of a new genocide against these children. The destruction of videotapes with the footage of the crimes committed in Srebrenica is also a form of genocide against the children of Srebrenica.

Instead of a conclusion, I will show you a photograph. It shows a little boy who is staring into the dozens of tombstones on which there is only ‘unidentified’ inscribed. Staring at these inscriptions, he pray to God to let him find out the truth about his beloved ones that is hidden behind he ‘unidentified’. The inscription on the back of his t-shirt probably shows that the only way that he could be spread yet another genocide is having one’s own state that would protect him.

Jasmin Odobasic
The Vice-chairman of the Commission

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada