Bosnians Commemorate Tuzla Massacre, Demanding Justice for Victims

Relatives of the victims, local residents and politicians were among hundreds of people who gathered on Thursday to mark the anniversary of the massacre in the Kapija area of Tuzla, known as the 'crime against Tuzla's youth' - one of the deadliest attacks on civilians during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A shell fired at 8.55pm on May 25, 1995 from Bosnian Serb Army killed 71 people and wounded more than 150 others who had gathered to celebrate Youth Day, a Yugoslav-era public holiday. The average age of those killed was 24.

"I'm afraid that Kapija will remain a place where parents, while the last one is still alive, will suffer while waiting for justice, for someone to be held accountable for the massacre," said Hilmo Bucuk, whose 17-year-old daughter Edina was killed in the attack.

Novak Djukic, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army's Ozren Tactical Group, was the only person convicted of the crime at Kapija, but has not served any of his 20-year sentence because he left Bosnia for neighbouring Serbia.

The parents of the children who were killed said they increasingly believe that no one will be held accountable.

"Every year the feeling is the same as in May 1995. The pain does not subside, and the fact that Djukic is still at large despite the court verdict increases it," Bucuk said.

The Bosnian authorities have repeatedly asked Serbia to take over the verdict and force the fugitive Djukic to serve the rest of his sentence there, but the Belgrade court has yet to issue any ruling. Hearings in the case have been repeatedly postponed.

For the first time since the end of the war, a day of mourning for the Tuzla victims was declared across the whole of the Bosniak- and Croat-dominated Federation...

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