Vesna Bešić –
Sadik Selimović (61) recites Fatiha next to the graves of his father and two brothers in the Srebrenica Memorial Center – Potočari. Next to them, they will bury a third brother this year.
The investigator of the Institute for Missing Persons of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the genocide committed in the area of Srebrenica in the summer of 1995, father Bajro and three brothers – Hajrudin, Hasan and Sabahudin, as well as numerous members of the immediate and extended family, were killed.
He found the remains of his brother Sabahudin last year in the area of Vlasenica. From the end of the war until today, he has been working on the search for the missing victims of the genocide in Srebrenica, but also in other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“In April 1992, I went with my wife and two children to Brčko. I was warned that I should take shelter. We were supposed to continue our journey to Gunja in Croatia,” said Selimović, from his cousin Zalužje, in an interview with Anadolu.
– Survived being wounded in July –
However, due to the events of that period, he returned to Srebrenica on foot from Tuzla, where he went after Brčko.
“I was in Srebrenica until 1995. On July 9, 1995, I was wounded, brought to the War Hospital in Srebrenica, and on July 11, my brothers put me in a truck and I was brought to the UNPROFOR base in Potočari,” Selimović recalled.
A day later they tried to transfer them to the free territory – Kladnja. There were problems on the way, they were stopped…
“They sent us back to Tišća, they didn’t let us pass. They sent us back to Potočare, and then to the war hospital in Bratunac. We were there for seven days. After that, the Red Cross came. From there, they transferred us to the Batković camp. We traveled the whole day, they stopped us and harassed us. I stayed there for 2.5 or three months. I was exchanged on September 29,” said Selimović.
Only after the exchange did he find out about the events in the area of Srebrenica and the horrors that happened. His father, three brothers and numerous family members did not reach the free territory.
– The search for the missing begins –
Since 1998, he has been involved in the search for the missing in the area of Srebrenica.
“I started searching. From 1995 to 1997, we thought there were people alive. However, later through this work I came to know and information that they were all killed in ten or 15 days. While doing this work, I first found and identified my brother Hajrudin, who was born in 1955. We found him on the surface of Kamenica Hill, above Kravica,” said Selimović.
After that, he also finds the remains of Bajra’s father.
“We found him in the Pilica mass grave. He was in Potočari, put on a truck, taken to the Dom kulture in Pilica where they were shot. Later, my cousin Elvir was found in Zeleni Jadro. I was also at the exhumation of my brother Hasan, born in 1952 . It’s the Kamenica 10 mass grave. It’s the largest secondary grave, over 1,000 cases. I was there, I didn’t know my brother was there, but I assumed he could be there,” Selimović said.
Last year, he also found the youngest brother Sabahudin, born in 1964.
“He will be buried this year on July 11. We found him in the area of Alihodžić, Vlasenica municipality. He walked for a long time in the forest after the fall of Srebrenica. He survived two or three ambushes,” said Selimović.
However, in the end he still failed to reach the free territory.
“What my house door closes, everything is gone. I find some comfort in the work of searching for the missing, tombs,” said Selimović.
– He knows the killer of those closest to him –
He also pointed to the problem they have been facing in recent years, which is the lack of information about potential graves.
“The graves are being hidden, we are looking for about 1,000 more people. So that people can find their peace. I always say that it is better for them to say now, because we will find them,” emphasized Selimović.
As he said, today is difficult, too difficult…
“It’s hard, there was some elan until I found this brother, and now I know that I will complete that circle. After each funeral, somehow it was easier, I don’t know if you can say that it’s easier… It’s hard to know that they were killed like animals. I know murderers in Bratunac, and the inaction of the people who should prosecute them hurts me,” Selimović added.
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