The Drina became Bosnia largest mass grave - 3,000 murders remain unpunished

Court imposes long prison sentences for mass murders in Visegrad

With the sentencing of the Serb war criminals Milan and Sredoje Lukic to life-long imprisonment, i.e. 30 years imprisonment, two of the most notorious main criminals of the genocide in and around the Bosnian town of Visegrad on the Drina have been dealt with. The court at The Hague concentrated in the case against the two cousins above all on the murder of 140 Moslem Bosnian civilians who were burnt alive in two houses of the town. But many other war criminals involved have yet to be brought to justice.


The reports on the case do not mention that the organisations of survivors and refugees estimate the number of those murdered in the town and district (Opstina) of Visegrad at around 3,000. This means that Visegrad alongside Srebrenica was one of the main scenes of the genocide against the Bosnian Moslems. The mass murders in the Drina town were carried out in the months of May and June 1992, after first the Yugoslav army and then the Serb militia had occupied the town. It is reported that among the victims there were about 600 women and 120 children. Many of the names of those murdered are still unknown, the reason being that often whole families were wiped out, so that there was nobody left who could report his or her relatives missing. Thus in the suburb of Bikavac the whole family Kurspahic, numbering about 60 persons, was murdered.


The River Drina became Bosnia largest mass grave. Not only in Visegrad, but in practically all Bosnian towns and villages along the Drina many massacres were perpetrated and the bodies thrown into the Drina. Their remains were swept away by the river. Caught in hydro-electric plants or factory turbines they will probably never be found. In Visegrad itself, the scene of the main work of the Nobel Prizewinner Ivo Andric ("The Bridge over the Drina – a Visegrad Chronicle”) hundreds of Moslem civilians were executed on precisely this world-famous bridge "Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic”. These victims were also thrown into the river.


It was just last year that in Visegrad 152 of 202 bodies exhumed were buried on a memorial cemetery constructed especially for this purpose. Only 21 of them were identified. On the grave-stones of the others is written simply N.N. Another mass-grave with the remains of 133 murdered persons was found in the village of Slap near Zepa. The inhabitants of this community in a canyon on the Drina, who were enclosed for four years, were able to rescue the bodies from the river and give them a temporary burial. Zepa was like Srebrenica an enclosed enclave for four years and finally one of the so-called UN protected zones.