September 11, 2013 - 16:07 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Authorities say they have discovered a mass grave that may contain dozens of remains of Bosniaks and Croats killed by Serb forces during their campaign to eliminate all non-Serbs from parts of the country they controlled during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, The Associated Press reported.
Mujo Begic, from Bosnia and Herzegovina's Missing Persons Institute, said Wednesday, Sept 11, the grave near the northern town of Prijedor was discovered last week and that so far the remains of about 10 people have been unearthed.
Bosnia's prosecution office said they expect this to be one of the largest mass graves ever found in this part of the country.
Authorities are still searching for 1,200 Bosniaks and Croats from the area of Prijedor. Most of them were killed in two nearby concentration camps.
The Bosnian War was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between March 1, 1992 and December 14, 1995. The war involved several factions. The main belligerents were the forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and those of the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat entities within Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska and Herzeg-Bosnia, who were led and supplied by Serbia and Croatia respectively.
The war came about as a result of the breakup of Yugoslavia. Following the Slovenian and Croatian secessions from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991, the multi-ethnic Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was inhabited by Muslim Bosniaks (44 percent), Orthodox Serbs (31 percent) and Catholic Croats (17 percent), passed a referendum for independence on 29 February 1992. This was rejected by the political representatives of the Bosnian Serbs, who had boycotted the referendum and established their own republic. Following the declaration of independence, the Bosnian Serbs, supported by the Serbian government of Slobodan Milošević and the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), mobilized their forces inside the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to secure Serbian territory, then war soon broke out across the country, accompanied by the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Bosniak population, especially in eastern Bosnia.