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This is integral text of the Summary section of the book The chronicle of our Cemetery, or a word about suffering of the Serbian people of Bratunac, Milici, Skelani and Srebrenica by Mr. Milivoje Ivanisevic.

The book was published in Serbo-Croatian language but this section of the book was purposely printed in English in order to give a brief overview of what the book is all about. The author obviously wanted to inform the broader world audience about this study.

Keep in mind that the book was published in 1994 a year before supposed "massacre" the Serbs committed on Srebrenica Muslim "men and boys" in July 1995.

In vain the Serbs tried to tell to the world about their suffering in Srebrenica district. As Shakespeare said: "No-one is as deaf as the one who does not want to hear."


The chronicle of our Cemetery
Summary

Full Title:
      The chronicle of our Cemetery,
      or a word about suffering of the Serbian people
      of Bratunac, Milici, Skelani and Srebrenica
Author: Milivoje Ivanisevic
Publishing house: Jugoistok, Belgrade
Published in Belgrade, 1994, 3,000 copies


Quote. Pages 367 - 376 of the book.

Chronicles book
Click to enlarge.

The chronicle of our Cemetery is a monograph on crimes committed by Muslims in the course of the civil war, imposed by the Muslim Party of Democratic Action [SDA] in April 1992, with the aim of Islamizing the former Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This monograph is concerned with a small territory of this former republic - with the communes in the Podrinje region: Bratunac, Milici, Skelani and Srebrenica which altogether comprise only 3.0% of the total territory and include 1.8% of the total population, i.e., 2.0% of Serb population in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Apart from the Preface entitled "Terrible, but Beneficial Truth", written by Prof. dr. Darko Tanaskovic, the Introduction and the Conclusion, this monograph contains the following chapters: "A Retrospective View on Earlier Crimes", "Preparations", "Crimes committed against Serbs in 1992 and thereafter", "Provisional List of victims of Muslim atrocities committed against Serb people", "Destroyed Personal Property and Real Assets", "Refugees", "Humanitarian Relief', "Not To Be Forgotten", "Leaders", "Officials", "Organizers", "Command Structure and Direct Perpetrators of Crimes", "Accounts of the Survivors from World War Two", "Accounts of Those Who Survived Muslim Crimes in 1992 and Thereafter", "Accounts of the Enemy".

In the introductory part, the author acquaints us with the motives which induced him to embark upon this work. In the first place, it is the events themselves, as well as the attempt to forge them and present them to the world in the way which does not reflect the facts. The author was also strongly moved by an almost constant silence in relation to the tragic fate of the Serb people supported not only by different occupying powers but by inhabitants of the Islamic religion as well. Additionally, relevant statistical data and data on land estate are also presented here. In viewing the population structure in the settlements and the communes of Srebrenica, Skelane and Bratunac, the author presents us with the following data: at the outbreak of the conflict there were 37 settlements comprising of purely Muslim population, 29 settlements of purely Serb population and 64 settlements of mixed population. In the commune of MiliCi, Serbs were predominant and comprised 90% of the total population. According to the 1931 census, Serbs comprised 50.6% of the population in Srebrenica. During World War Two and after en masse genocide and ethnic cleansing, the Serb population was reduced ... and managed to recover during the following decades. Before the outbreak of armed conflicts, according to the 1991 census, there were 28,500 (35.6%) Serbs and 49,500 (61.9%) Muslims in the aforesaid communes, with the exception of thc Milici commune. The author also acquaints us with the fact, that in all statistical censuses, both in Austro-Hungary and Yugoslavia, the ethnical definition of Muslims was constantly being searched for. They used to be registered first as "Muslims who are not self-determined", then as "Yugoslavs who are not self-determined", and finally as "ethnic Muslims" till 1971, when they were recognized as an individual nation within the Yugoslav federation: Muslims (with capital "M"). Thus a new nation emerged in Yugoslavia without its own language, script or ethnic root on this territory.

Heavy casualties and suffering of Serbs during World War Two did not significantly affect their land estate. With the possibility of some slight deviations, Serbs owned land estate which comprised 52% of the total territory, Muslims owned 29% and 19% was gained by politically motivated means or by other less correct methods, i.e., by the use of force, which would mean to award Muslims the land of their victims, that of the Serbs killed in World War Two and during this current war.

In the introductory part of the monograph, the author enumerates sources from which he drew a large body of facts. They are primarily the residents of the burned down Serb villages, local and enemy official documents, public statistical data, land register, data obtained through the Red Cross and some of the international humanitarian organizations, such as the United Nations Peace-Keeping Forces (UNPROFOR). The author has used the archivesí records of the Archive of Serbia and of the Institute for Military History in Belgrade, dealing with the suffering of the Serb people on this territory during the two previous world wars.

In the chapter entitled "A Retrospective View on Earlier Crimes", the author focuses his attention on developments and the fate of the Serbs in the previous two world wars. In this chapter, he presents us with an abundance of documents and testimonies deposited by many Serb victims from this territory; Mainly unknown archive being never before published, documentation held in retention, or hidden, for more than five decades [of Croat Tito's Communist rule]. The urge to retrospectively view past events was imposed primarily by the need to explain them, in order to understand and interpret current developments, as well as by the fact that very little was written about the suffering of the Serb population in this part of eastern Bosnia at the time of socialist Yugoslavia when false brotherhood and unity had been promulgated. Thus was hidden the responsibility of Muslims who had en masse joined the occupying [Nazi] power in committing atrocities against Serb people. The fact that Srebrenica, Bratunac, Skelani and Milici are situated on the very bank of the Drina river - within the bordering area of Serbia, as well as the strivings of all the occupying powers, which had been conquering and ruling Bosnian territory, to draw a dividing line between Serb people on the left bank of the river Drina and the state of Serbia may help to explain the exodus of people from this territory. In fact, exodus was put into practice by all the occupying powers, and particularly by the Austro-Hungarian empire and Pavelicís pro-Nazi Independent State of Croatia. This ambition has been displayed by Muslim and Croatian leaders in this war as well.

This chapter contains three main parts: World War One, World War Two and the part related to the suffering of MiliCi in World War Two. However, as specified in the title of this chapter, it is only a retrospective review of past developments and does not aim to go into a deeper insight, or to be extensively elaborate. It is the intention of the author to grasp thoroughly the existence of a certain continuity regarding both the fate of the Serb population and the relationship of local Muslims towards their neighbours. Although abundant documentation compiled by the author is presented fragmentarily, it is sufficient to meet the requirements of the basic thesis. Numerous military and civilian documents from the authorities of the Independent State of Croatia are cited and often accompanied with precise data both on extermination and expulsion of Serb population, as well as the relationship of the authorities towards these people. However, all that has been presented in this part, as well as in the introductory part, comprise only the background which leads us further on to the basic theme of this book which is the fate and tragedy experienced by the Serb people since the Muslim Party of Democratic Action [SDA] has risen to power, including the war itself which was imposed on the Serbs in 1992.

Chapter one which deals with the basic theme, brings to light the period of the preparations of the Muslims legal and illegal, civil and religious institutions which were engaged in armaments supply and training of both town and village residents, as well as in laying ambushes and in launching attacks on Serb villages, the discrimination of Serb employees, the taking over of all the key functions in the economy, governmental organs, judicial, health and educational institutions, and particularly in military and police services. In order to avoid many traps, Serbs in this same period established their own governmental organs in the territories inhabited by Serb people thus freeing themselves, more or less, from the discriminative policy of the [Muslim] Party of Democratic Action. It was at that time that the Serb communes of Skelani and Milici came into being in the territories of the former communes of Srebrenica and Vlasenica.

In the beginning, this period was characterized by covert activities on the part of the Muslims aiming at a complete takeover of power or at obstructing of those administrative organs and institutions which they were unable to subject to their own policy. Religious leaders along with businessmen, commune administration officials and police and state security officers participated equally in covert arms supply. Thus, whether aware of what was going on or not, the State Security Service in Zvornik instituted no legal action against Mevludin Sinanovic from Pototare, commune of Srebrenica, who was being engaged in the supply and distribution of armaments. Besides, often at night he would get dressed in [Royal Yugoslav Army] Chetnik uniform and go around Muslim villages to provoke conflicts between the Serb and Muslim population.

Groups of Muslim extremists armed and equipped with modern weapons were continuously patrolling villages, stopping passers-by and vehicles and blocking access and exit roads around Serb villages. Muslim extremists had even stolen armaments and equipment from a military reserve unit, including a three-barrel gun wighing 10 tons from a battery recharging plant. Local population in Muslim villages was being trained in handling weapons while several hundreds of young Muslim boys went to the neighbouring Republic of Croatia, already seceded from Yugoslavia, to get military training in skills and diversionary actions. Although the Ministry of Internal Affairs and State Security Service were acquainted with all this, they nevertheless tolerated it. They were also tolerating armaments supply in which "hodza" (an Islamic priest) Munib Ahmetovic from Vlasenica, Nezir Muratovic, police station commander in Bratunac and Senad Kodzic, police station deputy commander in Bratunac, Sead Hadziavdic, in-keeper in Drinjaca, Saban Radzic and Esad Haskic from Kamenica, as well as many others who were the executors of the Muslim extremist plans was engaged.

Throughout all the communes and Muslim local communities illegal "Crisis Headquarters" were established which governed and controlled preparations for armed activities. Thus, for example, the Crisis Headquarters in Bratunac declared its programme of illegal activities in which, inter alia, it was stated: "In order to achieve our own statehood, maximum efforts are to be exerted ... plans for more intensified observations of [Federal] military facilities and of other key facilities are to be worked out. In these activities, a major role could be played by our men who are employed in the police, because they have the right to stop any suspects, ask for their identification card, search them for arms and demand that they give up their weapons in order to be used for the arming of our own people, plans for destruction of vital facilities or their occupation are to be worked out, plans for blockade of road communication are to be worked out in detail; a list of Muslim traitors [i.e. who are loyal to multi-ethnic Yugoslavia] who are to be eliminated without delay must be made because they could significantly hinder the achievements of our plans...". The same document states as follows: "Every local community should ... Make the list of men fit for combat, form units and assign commanders (of squads, platoons, companies), assess the number of those under arms and of the armaments currently available, designate assembly areas from which units are to move to accomplish their tasks, monitor the behaviour of Serb population, work out the code book and command and control manual, work out signal communication plans and train personnel respectively. In order to achieve this objective, individual initiative is not permitted for reasons of security..."

The Proclamation of the Muslim National Council is not less significant. In the same militant tone, it calls all the Muslims from Bosnia-Herzegovina to gather for [Muslim religious holiday] Ramadan (1992) for a meeting, nearby Bratunac because it is the "geographical centre of Muslims in Yugoslavia". Never has any scientific, religious, military or any other institution launched the thesis that "Bratunac is the geographical centre of Muslims from Bosnia-Herzegovina". The date designated for the gathering of all the Muslims from the former Yugoslav republic was not only the date designated for their major Ramadan holiday but for the beginning of the aggression against the Serb people as well. This same Council in the first three items of its programme stated, inter alia: 1) Form the Muslim State within the boundaries of current Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2) Form Muslim Armed Forces (MOS); 3) Assume complete control of power and responsibility, form the sovereignty of the Muslim State proper ... etc. Already by April 1992, all Serb villages, particularly the smaller ones, including hamlets in Muslim villages, were under siege. The residents of these villages, as well a the Serbs from Bratunac and Srebrenica, became hostages of their more numerous and armed neighbours who were patrolling the streets by night and keeping guard around Serb houses. Schools were being closed on the Eve of Ramadan. Serbs had to choose between two alternatives: either to leave their ancestral homes or to resist, i.e., to defend their own lives and property with arms.

The central part of this monograph, the chapter entitled "Crimes committed Against Serbs in 1992 and Thereafter", as well as "Provisional List of victims of Muslim Atrocities Committed Against Serb People" comprise the backbone of this book. These two parts systematically and precisely describe the suffering of the Serb population in the communes of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Skelani and Milici. Discerning the tactics and strategy of Muslim armed attacks, the authors ascertains that the first blows of Muslim assaults were received by helpless and smaller Serb hamlets in villages with mixed population, then by isolated Serb villages surrounded by Muslim villages, and lastly by large compact Serb areas (Podravanja, Kravica, Skelani). According to this strategy, not even the dates of attacks against Serb villages were left to chance. Orthodox Church celebrations were designated dates of attacks: Djurdjevdan (St. Georgeís Day), Vidovdan (St. Vitasí Day), Petrovdan (St. Peterís Day), Christmas and even the Orthodox New Year ... Namely, the days of intensive agricultural activities in the fields. In both cases, inhabitants were more relaxed and engrossed in their current activities and concerns.

Ethnic cleansing of Serb territories in these communes commenced by Muslim attacks against small hamlets of Gniona in Srebrenica commune and of Bljeceva in the Bratunac commune on May 6, 1992 (on St. Georgeís Day). Thereafter followed the attacks against other Serb villages: Metaljka, Rupovo Brdo, Loznica, Ratkovici, Brezani, Zagoni, Krnjiti, Magasidi, Jezestica, Podravanje, etc. While [the Serbs kept] retreating into an increasingly smaller territory and leaving behind them dozens of burned down and destroyed villages, as well as hundreds of victims, Srebrenica and Cerska, Muslims who allegedly were suffering [according to NATO countries] in these settlements came into the focus of the world media. No one was concerned with the fact that the truth was on the other side, no one seemed to take any notice of the fact that Srebrenica and its neighbouring villages were left without Serbs and not without Muslims. None of the world media showed the slightest intention of telling the truth, not even for the sake of their own conscience. It seemed that no one in the world had any conscience at all.

On May 9, [1992] Serbs moved out from Srebrenica en masse and in panic. For the second time in this century, Srebrenica has been ethnically cleansed of Serb population. It was directly triggered off by the killing of Goran Zekic, the judge and the leader of the Serb Democratic Party [SDP] and a member of the Bosnia-Hercegovina Assembly. He was killed from an ambush in the evening of May 8. Although Muslim authorities tried to convince local population that it was just a mere coincidence, this killing finally revealed the fact that all the previous killings were committed mainly from ambushes as part of a plan prepared in advance. This means that neighbouring Gniona or Bljeceva, whose tragedy was known but details were scarce, nor the ambush laid nearby the Muslim village of Osmace in which seven passengers of Serb nationality were killed on May 7, [1992] were the result of irresponsible undertakings of some Muslim peasants from these villages. It was rather the beginning of the armed conflict and the elimination of Serbs, as large in number as possible. It is almost impossible to describe all the attacks, burning down, plundering and destruction suffered by Serb villages. It amounts to almost one hundred [100] villages in which Serbs used to live.

The book further acquaints us with the most drastic cases related to the suffering of Serbs in villages and prisons in Srebrenica. By elaborating the fate of a certain number of villages, such as Bljeceva, Gniona, Oparci, Metaljka, Rupovo Brdo, Ratkovici, Loznica, Brezani, KrnjiCi, Zalazje, Magasici, Jezestica, Podravanje, Bracan, Fakovici, Boljevici, Bjelovac, Sikiric, Kravica, Siljkovici, Cositi, KuBici, Skelani and Vandiiti, the author is trying to depict in a precise and documented way the events and fate of the people from these villages. Accordingly, data relative to every village is given: the total number of residents, i.e., the number of Serbs and Muslims; the date of the launching of the attack; the names of the killed residents (the name of the father and the year of birth); destruction of property; the names of the identified Muslims who took part in the attacks, plundering and destruction; and finally, the names of the surviving victims who have given their statements relative to the events they witnessed.

Substantial data is also provided relative to the laying of certain ambushes. However, the author depicts only some of the most drastic cases in which a number of individuals were victimized. These are the ambushes laid in the villages of Osmace, Zutica, Konjevic Polje, Sandici, Biljaca and Glogova.

An especially difficult task was posed by the research work relative to the fate of people who were brought into Srebrenica prisons from different locations and in different ways. It is known that some of them were released through exchange and that some of them were killed, but the fate of the majority of them is still uncertain. It is not even known how many individuals of Serb nationality were brought into Srebrenica prisons. In Srebrenica, many Serb houses were destroyed and burned down, the cemetery was desecrated and the Church was burned down.

The second part of this chapter deals with the suffering of the residents of these villages. While the exact number of killed individuals of Serb nationality is, as yet, impossible to determine, it is even more difficult to identify them. It is estimated that over one thousand residents of these villages were killed and 2800-3200 people were injured or wounded. In the hereby enclosed "Provisional List of Victims of Muslim Atrocities Committed Against Serb People", vital records are provided relative to each identified victim (name, fatherís name and surname; the year of birth; the date and place of death). The list which is made in chronological order of occurrence, begins as of April 20, 1992 and ends as of January 11, 1994. The list contains data on 999 identified victims in the aforesaid period. The constituent part of this list is an individual, provisional, survey of massacred individuals. It contains the names of almost ninety victims who were killed in the most brutal of ways: by being burned, slain, killed with blunt instruments or beaten up, etc.

The monograph further deals with the problems of devastated and destroyed property, refugees and humanitarian relief.

In the chapter entitled "Destroyed personal property and real estate", the author presents us with a series of circumstantial data on the effects of the burning down of villages and plundering that followed every attack. Out of 8000 Serb households, about 5400 (68%) were left without any property. It is also the approximate number of destroyed family houses. According to the estimates made on the basis of the statistical data from the 1991 census on livestock relative to certain settlements, as well as on the basis of the corresponding documents on the livestock preserved, 7,200 head of cattle, 16,200 of sheep and 38,000 of poultry were taken away from the Serbs. The total of 12,000 pigs were killed or taken away. Most of them were in their pigsties while being set on fire and they burnt with them. Occasionally, however, they were taken away. The wheat was plundered from barns, food from refrigerators, as well as household appliances and radio and TV sets. In short, before burning down a house, they took all that could be taken. According to the current market price, the damage inflicted by the plundering of livestock amounts to $15 million.

The chapter entitled "Refugees" deals with both the individuals who were forced to leave this territory and with those who escaping from the terror of the Muslims in central Bosnia found shelter in parts closer to Serbia. By the beginning of 1993, 12,800 refugees from the communes of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Skelani and Milici were registered on the territory of Serbia - almost every second resident of these communes. Out of this number, 83% were women and 43% were underage children. The majority of them were not accommodated at state facilities or institutions, but found shelter with families whose members helped and supported not only refugees but their needy country.

During the whole period of war, foreign and international humanitarian relief, or alleged humanitarian relief organizations, contributed significantly to the overall relationships in this territory. The only undisputable fact was the discriminating relationship towards the Serb party and the ill-usage of humanitarian motives for media and political purposes only. Owing to the free road corridors, running through this part of Bosnia, supply of Muslim enclaves was made possible. This humanitarian relief was not hindered by the Serb party. On the contrary, it secured the passage of these transports. Nevertheless, the alleged humanitarian organizations which did not allow the inspection of their transport did not engage even a small air fleet to supply one of the parties in conflict with goods which were never considered as humanitarian relief. Thus, the Muslims from Srebrenica and Cerska were supplied with logistic support, radio-transmitters, ammunition, armaments... by parachute deliveries. With regard to actual humanitarian relief which was delivered by road vehicles only, Muslims received about 82 kilograms of necessities per capita and Serbs about 14 kilograms per capita in the period April-August 1993. There is no sufficient knowledge relative to the quantity of air supplies delivered [to the Muslims only by NATO operation "Parachute"]. At that time, however, they could not have been much less than supplies transported by road. Nevertheless, at that time much like today, no one ever mentioned that Serbs were the plundered and endangered party and that Muslims were in possession not only of their own property, but of the plundered Serb property as well.

Preliminary data on perpetrators of crimes committed against Serb people in this territory comprise a very important part of this monograph. It is the list which contains the names of 391 leaders, Islamic extremists, commanders and other commanding officers, direct perpetrators and executors.

The names of several hundreds of already identified plunderers are included in this list. According to the current data and knowledge, crimes for which each and everyone of them bears some responsibility are stated. These persons are advocates of intolerance and expulsion of Serbs from this territory, the officials of the Party of Democratic Action [SDA] and Islamic fundamentalists, organizers both of illegal paramilitary formations and the arming of population, designating leaders for attacks: burning down of villages, plundering, commencing of atrocities against the population ... Although they do not bear equal responsibility, their responsibility is nevertheless evident and must not be forgotten as was the case in the previous two wars.

The concluding part of the monograph is in a way a documentary part comprised of statements deposited by victims who survived previous as well as this current war, documents of the Independent State of Croatia, as well as the statements deposited by some Muslims who were taken prisoners in this war. This part is classified into three separate entities which comprise: "Accounts of the Survivors from World War Two", "Accounts of Those Who Survived Muslim Crimes in 1992 and Thereafter" and "Accounts of the Enemy".

The volume of the monograph, with the concluding part and the annexes, numbers 400 pages.


End of quote.


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Last revised: July 19, 2005