We paid our respects to victims killed in Mrkonjić Grad

On 10 October 2018, members of the Centre for Nonviolent Action Sarajevo-Belgrade, together with some of our partners, war veterans and former members of HVO, the Army of RBiH and VRS, attended the commemoration to honour Serb victims killed in Mrkonjić Grad.

The commemoration in Mrkonjić Grad marked 23
years since the deaths of 357 civilians and soldiers. Wreaths were laid at the
monument situated at the site where a mass grave was discovered with the
remains of about 180 victims, including 81 civilians, 97 soldiers of the
Republika Srpska Army and 3 members of the police forces.

No one has yet been held accountable for the war crimes committed in Mrkonjić Grad, and at the commemoration, an initiative was addressed to judicial institutions, urging them to start an investigation in this case and prosecute those responsible.

Joint
commemorations of those killed on all sides in the war make up part of the
process of reconciliation, abolishing hatred and conquering a new space of
freedom in our societies. This process is all the more relevant and symbolic
when it is carried out by former soldiers and war veterans. The reconciliation
process does not entail forgiving the wrongdoers, because forgiveness is a
personal act and we cannot forgive on someone else’s behalf. Reconciliation in
society at large means stepping away from hatred, distrust, discrimination and
prejudice.

For CNA, attending the commemoration in
Mrkonjić Grad is an opportunity to send the message that we mourn all victims
of war, that there is a need for a different way of remembering that will not
incite hatred around us, but will point the way to dealing with the past as a
path towards peace and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The presence of our small group at the commemoration was also an opportunity to meet with people from Mrkonjić Grad and start a conversation about future cooperation in various activities organised by CNA. We hope to bring a larger group of war veterans and peace activities from across the region to future commemorations, and we are also preparing other activities in this town to support building peace, trust and reconciliation.