Category: work with war-veterans
For a number of years, at the Centre for Nonviolent Action (CNA), we have been trying to find ways for our group of war veterans to join the commemoration dedicated to Serb civilians and soldiers killed in Skelani in the Srebrenica Municipality and together honour these victims who were killed on 16 January 1993.
The two monuments are separated by the main street in the old town of Jajce. Both symbolically and physically separated, the one to fallen fighters of ARBiH next to a mosque, the other to fallen HVO fighters, across the street, under a large cross. Together, the veterans paid their respects to both, thus bringing these two physically and symbolically separate monuments together
Mixed group of war veterans, some 40 former members of the Army of RBiH, HVO, HV, VRS, JNA and VJ visited sites of suffering and memorials in Jajce to pay their respects to the victims
The very fact of former enemies attending the commemoration together, paying their respects to victims of all wars, sends the message that we are no longer enemies and that we never want to be enemies again. That the suffering, fear and pain we have all experienced connect us and bring us closer together. That we grieve and empathise with each other’s pain, to ease it, and to make sure it never happens again.
War Veterans from the Region at the Commemoration in Grabovica: Killing Civilians Cannot Be Justified
War veterans, former members of the Army of RBiH, HVO, HV, VRS and VJ laid flowers and paid their respects to civilians killed in Grabovica. “The killing of innocent civilians cannot be justified, and even today families are still looking for the remains of 17 of their beloved. We cannot turn back the time and put things right, but we want to show that, with all our differences, we can remember all victims together, honour them together and build a more just society,” said Amer Delić from the Centre for Nonviolent Action, a war veteran of the Army of RBiH from Zavidovići.
The presence of our mixed group of war veterans from the region at the commemoration in Ahmići on 15 and 16 April 2019 completed a year-long journey along the untrodden paths of memory. Trusina – 16 April 2018 Ahmići – 16 April 2019.
“We are here to show by our presence that we can and must show compassion and respect not just for victims from our own people, but for others too. To show that there is another way. Then we can set the foundations for peace and coexistence in this region, which is our goal. So that our children never have to go through what we went through,” said Krešimir Ivančić, a veteran of the Croatian Army.
To come face to face with yourself, with others, to regain and re-earn the trust of others, to believe that we can and must live together, these are just some of the steps that the veterans undertake when making visits across the region. By no means easy, these steel-shod steps rung out loud and clear, confident and without fear, throughout our time in Niš and Aleksinac
Since 2008, the Centre for Nonviolent Action, with offices in Sarajevo and Belgrade, has been organising visits by groups of war veterans from Croatia, Serbia and BiH to sites of atrocities against civilians and soldiers committed in the recent war and to official commemorations honouring victims, organised by local and state authorities and victims associations.
War veterans at the commemoration in Stupni Do near Vareš, 23 October 2018