Mladic Memorial Erected Near Sarajevo

A memorial plaque dedicated to the former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic, who is on trial for genocide and other crimes in Bosnia, has been erected on the hills above Sarajevo.

The plaque to Mladic, which was erected in the Vraca neighbourhood above Sarajevo, in the territory of the Bosnian Serb entity, was raised by the former fighters union of Eastern Sarajevo.

‘In this place, on May 19, 1992, the commander of the Republika Srpska Army Main Headquarters, Ratko Mladic, mustered two battalions of the self-organized people of the Novo Sarajevo municipality,’ it reads.

The head of the Eastern Sarajevo former fighters union, Dragisa Tusevljak, said the plaque marked the anniversary of the formation of the First Sarajevo Motorized Brigade of the Bosnian Serb army.

Mladic is on trial before the Hague war crimes tribunal for terrorizing the people of Sarajevo through a shelling and sniping campaign that lasted from 1992 to 1995.

The sniping and shelling killed and wounded thousands of civilians of both sexes and all ages, including children and the elderly, the indictment reads.

Sarajevo Mayor Ivo Komsic issued a statement on Thursday calling Mladic a ‘war criminal’, adding that erecting a plaque to him sent a ‘bad message’.

Edina Kamenica, a Sarajevo-based journalist who has written extensively about crimes committed by Bosnian Serb forces in the Vraca and Grbavica municipalities, told BIRN that putting up a memorial to Mladic was absurd.

‘It makes absolutely no sense to put up a plaque to him there after those crimes. I would also say it makes no sense to celebrate him anywhere. This, unfortunately, only speaks about the misguided value system we are seeing today in Bosnia,’ Kamenica said.

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