Anniversary of Kosovo Serbs’ Killings Marked in Belgrade
A memorial gathering to mark the 21st anniversary of the attack on Orahovac/Rahovec was held on Thursday at Orlovaca cemetery in Belgrade, where most of the victims of the violence were buried.
The memorial was organised by two families of the victims and attended by activists from three NGOs - Women in Black, the Humanitarian Law Centre and the Youth Initiative for Human Rights - who laid a floral wreath with a note saying "We remember the crimes in Orahovac".
The activist want to "express sympathy and solidarity with the families of the victims, as well as support their requests for establishing all the facts about this crime and bringing all the perpetrators to justice", they said in a statement.
Pamtimo zločin u Orahovcu. @FHPHLC @YIHRSerbia i Žene u crnom pic.twitter.com/IfGRQF4DKp
— Ivana Žanić (@IvanaZanic) July 18, 2019
In July 1998, armed conflict erupted in the Orahovac/Rahovec municipality between Serbian military and police forces and the Kosovo Liberation Army.
The KLA staged its attack in Orahovac/Rahovec on July 17 and on the following day, it also staged attacks in the villages of Retimlje and Opterusa/Opterushe.
Five civilians were killed and dozens of Serbs and Roma people were captured.
Some of them were released, but 39 - one Montenegrin, three Roma and 36 Serbs - were not freed.
The remains of almost all of them were later found in two mass graves in the villages of Volujak and Malisevo in April and May 2005. The body of one civilian is still missing.
In order to investigate alleged crimes by KLA guerrillas during and after the 1998-1999 war, the Specialist Prosecutor's Office in The Hague started interviewing former KLA commanders in January this year.