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2006.12.23. - VICTIMOLOGY OF CATHOLIC CROATIANS OF KONJIC MUNICIPALITY

The dust of oblivion covers the unwritten events as the time sternly goes by, as though they had never happened. Therefore we have all been summoned, particularly the witnesses of the events, as much as it is in their power to save the events of the sanguinary Croatian history from the oblivion, for the sake of future Croatian generations and the truth itself.....The fact that the Croatians from municipality of Konjic had been convicted for war crimes against the Muslims, and that Muslims had not been convicted for the war crimes against the Croatians in the municipality of Konjic, speaks most obviously of the biased judicial institutions of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton. .... Because of all of this there is no place for Croatian silence over the war crimes committed against them...... If the creators of Croatian evil ask for forgiveness, we can forgive them, but we cannot forget it, not to any anyone, not ever. To make sure Croatian victims had not been in vain, we must never and nowhere forget who we are, what we are and where we come from.
VICTIMOLOGY OF CATHOLIC CROATIANS OF KONJIC MUNICIPALITY

The dust of oblivion covers the unwritten events as the time sternly goes by, as though they had never happened. Therefore we have all been summoned, particularly the witnesses of the events, as much as it is in their power to save the events of the sanguinary Croatian history from the oblivion, for the sake of future Croatian generations and the truth itself.


Only in the territory of municipality of Konjic the martyrs are parish of Žitace, the parishes Obri and Solakova Kula in Klis, as well as the parish of Konjic, the long-forgotten by the church leaders parish of Glavaticevo, as well as the villages of Radešine and Javorik in the parish of Jablanica.


This is testified by the stern figures of tragic destiny of Croatian people in the aforementioned parishes and of those in almost all parishes in BiH that were in the war in the last decade of the 20th century.


In the World War II and its aftermath 307 Croatians had perished in the territory of parish of Podhum/Žitace, according to uncompleted data, 237 Croatians had perished in parish of Solakova Kula, 174 Croatians in the parish of Obri, 570 Croatians in the parish of Konjic, 65 Croatians in the parish of Glavaticevo and 47 Croatians in the parish of Jablanica (Radešine and Javorik). In the World War I in the parish of Podhum, which was then comprised of the existing parishes of Podhum/Žitace and Obri, according to the presently available data, 23 Croatians had perished.


During the Homeland War the officers of the Serb Yugoslav Peoples Army, which was later transformed into the Army of the Republic of Srpska, had killed 24 Croatian civilians and officers of Croatian Defence Council in the municipality of Konjic, 15 in other municipalities and three of them in the Republic of Croatia.


In the municipality of Konjic the following people had been murdered: Ivan Azinovic, Vicko Azinovic, Marinko Bebek, Tomislav Markovic, Marko Raic, Jozo Vidackovic, Ilija Vidackovic, Mato Mamic, Goran Stanic, Ilija Blaževic, Stanislav Andelic, Andrija Tomic, Jozo Karlovic, Marijana Blaževic, Slavko Lukic, Stjepan Piplica, Ljubica Božic, Josip Kozaric, Mario Vidackovic, Darko Rajic, Stjepan Markovic, Ivica Pincic, Mladen Stenek and Stojan Šimunovic.


In other BiH municipalities the following people had been murdered: Ivica Mihalj, Slavko Mihalj, Petar Mihalj, Ivan Stanic, Darko Alilovic, Zoran Nikšic, Miro Pehar, Boso Stjepanovic, Mario Mihalj, Tomislav Žilic, Ivica Rako, Goran Matoš, Stipo Stjepanovic, Pero Livaja and Nenad Juric.


The following people had been murdered in the Republic of Croatia: Robert Šilic, Jozo Livaja and Željko Barišic.


The first war crime in the municipality of Konjic against the members of the Croatian people had been committed by the officers of the Muslim Army of Republic of BiH against six officers of Croatian Defence Council and one Croatian civilian in the parish of Podhum/Žitace on 23, 24 and 25 March 1993. On those dates the following people had been murdered: Ivan Andric (son of Mate), Ivan Andric (son of Ante), Zvonimir Ðopa, Mirko Ðopa, Mato Stjepanovic, Dragan Vujicevic and Anto Krešo.


On the Catholic holy day of Annunciation and the first day of Ramadan Bairam, on 25 March 1993, four aged, powerless Croatian civilians had been brutally murdered in Orlište. The spouses Ivan and Janja Kostic, Branko Kostic and Anda Kostic, lifelong invalid in the wheelchair, had been murdered.

The next crime scene was Bušcak where Miroslav Majic, Branko Majic and Slavko Majic had been brutally murdered on 13 and 14 April 1993.
The peak of Muslim crimes in the municipality of Konjic took place in Trusina on 16 April 1993 when 15 Croatian civilians and seven officers of Croatian Defence Council had been bestially murdered after being imprisoned. The following are the names of the murdered people: Željko Blaževic, Ivan Drljo, Zdravko Drljo, Nedeljko Krešo, Pero Krešo, Stipo Ljubic, Miljenko Mandic, Jure Andelic, Andrija Drljo, Anto Drljo, Franjo Drljo, Ivan Drljo, Kata Drljo (mother-in-law), Kata Drljo (daughter-in-law), Tomo Drljo, Anda Ivankovic, Ilija Ivankovic, Ivica Krešo, Smiljko Krešo, Velimir Krešo, Stipo Mandic and Branko Mlikota.

The crime in Trusina had been committed the same day as the one against Muslims in the village of Ahmici, where UNPROFOR and the world TV stations immediately showed up, which was not the case with Trusina, where they had never come. Not even during the exhumation of the mortal remains of the murdered people who were buried after 570 days in catholic cemetery Jedinice (Stipo Ljubic was buried in the Catolic cemetery Kraljevine) in Ljuti Dolac on 14 November 1994. Each of them was buried except from Smiljko Krešo who had been burnt along with his own house.

The attitude of the media towards the war crimes in Ahmici and Trusina is an obvious example of bias and unobjective reporting, especially by BBC’s war reporter Martin Bell, based on whose reports from Ahmici the ungrounded image of Croatians as genocide and criminal people had been created, while the Muslims had been presented as victims.

Not even thirteen years after the horrid crime in Trusina, the ICTY , unlike in the case of Ahmici, finds it necessary to prosecute the culprits.
It is as though the ICTY had forgotten that The Hague Convention from 1907 and Geneva Convention from 1949, as well as its own Statute, state that all victims of war crimes must get their legal satisfaction, which also implies the Croatian victims.
The surviving members of the families, and particularly Croatian politicians and the media, which so far hasn’t been the case, must constantly, patiently and persistently remind the ICTY of these facts. The ICTY must process the perpetrators and orderers of war crimes against the members of Croatian people if it wants to renounce the good-willed objections to its political nature of existence. If it doesn’t do that the last mask will fall down showing that this Prosecutor’s Office and the Court had not been founded for truth and justice but for the politics.

While expecting the indictments from The Hague or local judicial institutions in BiH, it was expected that the families of the murdered persons, lead by Croatian intellectuals and priests from Trusina, launch an initiative for construction of eternal resting place for the murdered people by raising a memorial in Trusina, since the Croatian politicians have no empathy for that.
Instead of that awaited and solemn act, a modest monument without Croatian marks had been built in Trusina in 2004, while on 13 November 2004 the mortal remains of Jure Andelic, Ivan Drljo – son of Petar, Zdravko Drljo, Andrija Drljo, Ivan Drljo – son of Andrija, Tomo Drljo, Anda Ivankovic, Ilija Ivankovic and Ivica Krešo were relocated from catholic cemetery Jedinice in Ljuti Dolac to catholic cemetery in Trusina.

Mother-in-law Kata Drljo, daughter-in-law Kata Drljo and her husband Anto Drljo had been buried in the catholic cemetery in Lakševine in Buna near Mostar; Franjo Drljo, Pero Krešo and Nedeljko Krešo had been buried at the catholic cemetery in Klepci near Capljina; Velimir Krešo had been buried in Kaštel Gomilica, and Branko Mlikota in Zagreb.

After the war crimes in Trusina, officers of the Muslim RBiH Army had committed horrid crimes against powerless Croatians but also against Serbs at following locations: in Repovica they cruelly murdered Apolonija Azinovic and Mato Azinovic on 18 April 1993; in the village of Jukici they murdered the spouses Anica and Stjepan Jukic on 19 April 1993; in Konjic they murdered the nursing auxiliary Mirko Ivankovic on 20 April 1993; in Bjelovcina they murdered the spouses Ivka and Mato Soldo; in Vrci they murdered Ana Kožul, Stoja Kožul and Ivan Stanic on 22 April 1993; in Gornji Nevizdraci they murdered Kata Kaleb and Serb spouses Petra and Ðoko Ristic; in Podorašac they murdered Dragica Zovko on 22 April 1993 and Mladenko Juric on 24 April; in Radešine they murdered Željko Azinovic, Luka Matkovic, Stjepan Pandža and Branko Raic on 25 April 1993; in Konjic they murdered Mario Kovac on 1 May 1993; in Mrkosovci they murdered Ilija Ilic and Cvitan Kneževic on 2 May 1993; in Orahovica they murdered Anto Banovic – son of Ivan, Jozef Brvenik and Zlatko Trlin on 7 May 1993; in Gorani they murdered Jozo Juric on 12 June 1993; in Celebici they murdered Marko Maric on 16 June 1993; in Repovica they murdered Dragica Juric on 22 July 1993; in Donje Višnjevice they murdered Stjepan Stanic on 25 July 1993; in Pokojište they murdered Petar Jozic on 4 August 1993; in Trešnjevica they murdered Blaž Kozaric on 5 August 1993; in Orahovica they murdered Josip Ružic, Petar Skocibušic, Mato Šimic and Stanko Ružic on 1 and 5 September 1993; in Oteležani they murdered Šimun Banovic on 9 September 1993; on the road from Trešnjevica to Rama they murdered Janko Radoš on 12 January 1994. Besides the Serbs in Bradina on 26 May 1992 they also murdered Paula Vukosav, born in the island of Mljet.

Besides the mentioned people, the officers of the Muslim Army of RBiH had also murdered: Ilija Azinovic, Mirko Šimic, Anto Andelic, Ilija Blaževic, Mladen Vujicevic, Darko Matic, Mato Piplica, Anto Šekerija, Marko Bebek, Petar Grgic, Spomenko Juric, Zoran Juric, Damir Karlovic, Mirko Nikšic, Vlado Oroz, Darko Juric, Ilija Vidackovic, Mladen Žilic, Smiljko Jukic, Ivan Nikolic – son of Ivan, Dragan Drljo, Miro Stanic, Ivica Karlovic, Damir Jozic, Goran Jozic, Ivica Kasic, Slavko Mijic, Predrag Livaja, Ivica Šagolj, Mladen Andelic, Pero Kolovrat, Davor Ilic, Marinko Džidic, Ivan Dragic, Marinko Krezic, Ilija Raguž, Anto Banovic – son of Stjepan, Ivan Nikolic – son of Stipo, Marinko Boras, Anda Šaric, Dragan Buric, Marinko Andric, Milenko Ivankovic, Bosiljko Krešo, Davor Krešo, Pero Maric, Zoran Piplica, Ivica Tomic, Zdenko Buzuk, Kata Bebek, Antun Tuljo, Berislav Boras, Josip Petrovic, Mijo Ðopa, Mladen Karlušic, Anuša Petrovic, Marko Peric, Mirko Šagolj, Kata Livaja, Željko Zebic, Luka Lukic, Milenko Livaja, Zoran Azinovic, Zlatan Blaževic, Danko Pavlovic, Darko Rajic, Zdenko Rajic, Josip Šimunovic, Nikola Raguž, Ruža Božic, Srecko Bebek, Ivica Pehar, Franjo Andelic, Josip Kolar, Ivica Vrankic and Stanko Banovic.

The size of Islamic hatred towards the Croatian Catholics is shown by slaughter of 12 Croatian workers in Algeria on 14 December 1993 among who was Stjepan Gotovac from Budišnja Ravan. In an inter-Muslim conflict Dražen Pandža had been murdered, and in an attack on Croatians Dragan Pekic had been murdered as an officer of the Muslim Army of RBiH.
In other municipalities officers of Muslim Army of RBiH had murdered Milenko Lovric, Anto Drljo, Marijan Mihalj, Zdravko Mihalj, Slavko Markic, Zdravko Pinjušic, Matija Križanac, Zvonko Pinjušic, Ivica Topic, Slavko Juric, Tomo Karlušic, Marinko Maric, Lucija Maric, Andelko Kozaric, Ivan Coja, Miroslav Ružic, Dragan Tomic, Mirko Ivankovic and Stjepan Kolar.

In the camps in municipality of Konjic and other municipalities of BiH, six prison camp inmates were murdered while several died in exile due to tortures in Muslim prison camps. The murdered people are: Marijan Pandža who was murdered on 25 April 1993 in prison camp in Elementary school “Maksim Kujundžic” in Celebici, Grgo Turic who was murdered after 3 May 1993 at a location unknown to his family, Slaven Kolar who was murdered on 14 May 1993 during forced labour in Orahovica, Jozo Stanic who was murdered during forced labour on 14 September 1993 in Orahovica, Mato Drljo who was murdered on 15 September 1993 in Zenica, Zoran Milas who was murdered on 20 September 1993 in Donja Jablanica.

The “Way of the Cross” through Bokševica on 7 July 1993 took the lives of: Emilija Miletic from Falanovo Brdo, Jela Buzuk from Buturovic Polje, Šima Merdžo from Obri and Andelko Stojanovic from Kostajnica. The crossing through the Muslim mine fields took the lives of: Zorica Martinovic and her daughter Ana Martinovic on 15 December 1993; Ivanka Dragic and two sisters Florijana Kneževic and Sanja Kneževic on 23 January 1994.

Among the mentioned people, 64 Croatians were murdered in the parish of Podhum/Žitace, 4 were murdered in the parish of Solakova Kula, 18 in the parish of Obri, 71 in the parish of Konjic, 1 in the parish of Glavaticevo and 4 in the parish of Jablanica. In other municipalities of BiH, from the municipality of Konjic there were 7 Croatians from the parish of Podhum/Žitace killed, 8 from the parish of Solakova Kula, 2 from the parish of Obri, 4 from the parish of Konjic and 1 from the parish of Glavaticevo. One Croatian from the parish of Podhum/Žitace had been killed in Algeria.

While defending their families and homes, during the grenade strike or escape through the mine fields, trying to reach the area controlled by the HVO, the following people lost their limbs (legs, hands and eyes): Željko Ganjto – lost his left arm on 13 September 1992 in Konjic, Slavko Mikulic – lost his right upper leg on 23 November 1992 in Ovcari, Anda Šimic – lost her right upper leg on 10 January 1993 in Radava, Miro Vidackovic – lost his left lower leg on 13 May 1993 in Ljubina, Josip Lukic – lost left lower leg on 21 May 1993 in Bokševica, Zoran Karamatic – lost his right upper leg on 11 June 1993 in Bokševica, Ružica Žilic – lost her right eye on 20 July 1993 in Turija, Mirko Ivankovic – lost his left lower leg on 30 September 1993 in Konjic, Dragica Ivankovic – lost her right lower leg on 30 September 1993 in Konjic, Ivica Rašic – lost his right lower leg on 6 November 1993 in Bokševica, because of what he later committed suicide on 18 February 1995 in Rodoc near Mostar, Stjepan Krešo – lost his right eye on 12 February 1994 in Uskoplje, Ivan Ðopa – lost his left lower leg on 23 February 1994 in Kovacine near Mostar, Darko Šekerija – lost his right eye on 12 November 1994 in Mostar, Ivan Škegro – lost his left lower leg on 25 July 1993 in Žitace and Ivana Blaževic – lost her right lower leg at the catholic cemetery in Spiljani on 1 May 1996 stepping on a landmine.
The tragic destiny of Croatians is even greater when we sum this up with the murdered people and those deceased in exile because of consequences of tortures in camps.

Through the camps in Buturovic Polje, Celebici, Celina, Dobricevici, Gorani, Gornje Višnjevice, Gornji Nevizdraci, Hondici, Jasenik, Konjic, Kralupi, Lisicici, Parsovici, Pokojište, Podorašac, Solakova Kula, Spiljani, Seonica, Zavratnice, Ostrožac, Jablanica, Donja Jablanica, Drežnica, Tarcin, Igman and other Muslim camps large number of imprisoned Croatian civilians from all six Konjic municipalities had been physically and psychically tortured.

The survived Croatians from all six Konjic municipalities had fallen in exile innocent and with clear conscience and are able to look straight into the eyes of their torturers - their yesterday’s neighbours, work and school colleagues. The only thing that worries is the fact that the individuals are renouncing their patrimony. There is no excuse for that fatal act and we pray the God to enlighten them so that they can appreciate their blood-sodden soil in the hard times too.

We are aware that BiH is not a state of law and that Muslims live under the burden of collective guilt because of the silence of the ICTY and local judicial institution, while the Croatians roam around the world as mere numbers.
The culprits of numerous war crimes committed in the municipality of Konjic during the Homeland war against the Croatians, Serbs and Muslims, had been tried in The Hague and Mostar. And while the culprits for some crimes committed in the municipality of Konjic against Serbs and Muslims had been convicted, nobody has been neither indicted nor convicted for crimes against Croatians yet.

Had the majority of war crimes committed by the Muslim Army of BiH against the Croatian people been processed after the Homeland war, maybe the horrid murder of three members of Croatian returnee family on Christmas Eve 2002 in Kostajnica wouldn’t have happened. On that day Muamer Topalovic (1977) from Oteležani murdered Andelko Andelic (1935), his daughters Mara (1955) and Zorica (1973), and severely injured his son Marinko (1972). His wife Ruža, daughter Mira and granddaughter Iva Stojanovic had survived the crime. For this cruel crime Muamer Topalovic was sentenced to 35 years of imprisonment by the Cantonal Court in Mostar on 13 March 2003.

The first indictment regarding war crimes committed in the territory of municipality of Konjic had been raised by the ICTY on 19 March 1996. The indictment had been raised against the coordinators of military operations in the territory of municipality of Konjic and the Commander of the First Tactical Group of Muslim Army of BiH Zejnil Delalic, the commander of the camp Zdravko Mucic, Deputy Commander of the camp Hazim Delic and the camp ward Esad Landžo Zenga for war crimes committed between May 1992 and November 1992 against Serb soldiers and civilians at the camp in “Vojni objekti” facility in Celebici.
The ICTY had acquitted the first accused and the most responsible person for war crimes in that camp, Zejnil Delalic, while sentencing Zdravko Mucic to seven, Hazim Delic to twenty and Esad Landžo Zenga to fifteen years of imprisonment. Zdravko Mucic was released from prison on 18 July 2003.

The cantonal court in Mostar on 25 July 2000 sentenced Miralem Macic and Adem Landžo to twelve years of imprisonment and Jusuf Potur to nine years of imprisonment for war crimes committed against Serb family of Golubovic, spouses Ðuro and Vlasta and their minor children Petar and Pavle on the night between 9 and 10 June 1992 near River Neretva on the road from Konjic towards Spiljani.

On 29 July 2004 the Cantonal Court in Mostar sentenced Ismet Hebibovic Broceta, the commander of the prison camp “Športska dvorana” at Musala in Konjic, to seven years of imprisonment for murdering Dragan Živak on 12 July 1992.
Šefik Comaga was convicted for murdering Ðorde Magazin on 2 May 1992 in Konjic.

On 28 June 2004 the same Court, due to lack of evidence, acquitted seven Konjic Muslims (Miralem Salihovic, Muharem Hujdur, Sadat Sarajlic, Safet Sarajlic, Senad Begut, Muhamed Sarajlic and Jasmin Guska), indicted for war crimes against Serbs, Slavko Suša and Novak Lijeskic on 7 May 1992.

Many war crimes committed in the municipality of Konjic against the imprisoned Croatian civilians and officers of HVO are left without anyone being indicted let alone prosecuted for among the Muslim Army of BiH and Serb army (JNA and the Army of RS). To amplify the paradox, the Muslim brigades, whose officers committed horrid war crimes against the Croatians and Serbs in the municipality of Konjic, were awarded with municipal charters at the solemn session of the Municipal Council of Konjic held on 16 June 2004 in Konjic, “for defence-liberation feats in the most recent history of BiH and municipality of Konjic“. What exactly are those “defence-liberation feats” of the Muslim troops under the command of Hasan Hakalovic, Hamza Ajanovic, Midhat Cerovac, Midhat Pirkic and Head Imam of Konjic Nezim Halilovic Muderris and their political mentor dr. Safet Cibo, you will find out on the pages of this book.

On the other side, for murdering the prisoner Ismet Kovacevic and harassing Vejsil Hajduk on 18 April 1993 at the road towards Zabrde, the Council of the Cantonal Court in Mostar, presided by the judge Zoran Krtalic, on 6 July 2004 sentenced Mario Matic (1970) from Celebici, municipality of Konjic, to six years of imprisonment. Following the consent of ICTY the Council of the Cantonal Court in Mostar presided by the judge Zoran Krtalic on 29 June 2004 sentenced Zvonko Trlin, from Spiljani, to a year and a half of imprisonment for physical harassment of prisoner Ševal Isakovic at the camp Gabela near Capljina in the fall of 1993.

It is proper to ask the ICTY, the Prosecutor’s Office and the War Crimes Chamber of BiH in Sarajevo and the Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office and the Court in Mostar what has happened to the indictments and trials against the known officers of the Muslim Army of BiH, who had committed war crimes against the Croatians, led by dr. Safet Cibo and commanders of the Muslim Army troops in the territory of municipality of Konjic. More specifically, why are they waiting to raise indictment against Sejad Hakalovic for war crimes against Zvonimir Ðopa and Jela Raic in Gostovici, Zijad Padalovic for war crimes against Mato Drljo and other camp inmates in Buturovic Polje, Commander of the camp “Športska dvorana” in Konjic Edhem Žilic for cruel harassment of Croatian and Serb camp inmates, particularly for the forced blood-taking from the prisoners.

Of the mentioned relationship of these judicial institution does not change shortly, the Croatians from the municipality of Konjic will believe that those institutions are in the service of the policy of future conflicts instead of legal satisfaction of war victims regardless of their national and religious belonging.

The fact that the Croatians from municipality of Konjic had been convicted for war crimes against the Muslims, and that Muslims had not been convicted for the war crimes against the Croatians in the municipality of Konjic, speaks most obviously of the biased judicial institutions of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton.

Because of that, out of the 3.962 Croatians who were living in Klis and 7.551 Croatians in Konjic according to the census from 31 March 1991, today there is approximately one thousand Croatians, mainly older and sick, living there, or to be more precise living from hand to mouth.

Because of all of this there is no place for Croatian silence over the war crimes committed against them. All the survived people have a duty to testify about that and adequately prevent Croatian perils to fall into oblivion as the ones from the World War I and II did, for the future Croatian generations and historical truth. If the creators of Croatian evil ask for forgiveness, we can forgive them, but we cannot forget it, not to any anyone, not ever. To make sure Croatian victims had not been in vain, we must never and nowhere forget who we are, what we are and where we come from.
translation to English Nives Šumanovic
hrvatski:
Svjedok istine
ŽRTVOSLOV HRVATA KATOLIKA OPCINE KONJIC

 

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