From April 6th 1992 until December 31st 1995 in Sarajevo were carried out all forms of crimes against humanity and international law against children, which according to the rules of international humanitarian law are protected.
A number of mass and individual murders of children were carried out, as well as other crimes such as wounding and maiming of children with inflicted incalculable psychological damage and interrupted childhood.
During the war in Sarajevo the number of stillbirths has increased, as well as the number of abortions which was three-fold compared to the pre-war period.
“Because of poor living conditions, restricting access to water, gas, electricity and humanitarian assistance, the children had non-specific disease and symptoms that had not been manifested so far. Based on these data, it was found that the most children were killed in 1992. According to gender the number of boys is dominant. According to age the greatest number of children killed was from 16 to 18 years. According to a national basis the largest number of killed children were Bosniaks, 88.4 percent, 3.5 percent Croats and 3.4 percent Serbs and others” said historian Zilha Mastalić-Košuta, who deals with the theme of the suffering of children in besieged Sarajevo.
“Children who were tested after the war, revealed a high incidence of Severe disturbance of mental integrity. The consequences of the erosion of mental integrity, can be a life or even transgenerational. With this appealthe state and competent institutions should deal more with these problems,” said the Mastalić-Košuta.
The Army of the Republic of Serbia was attacking bigger groups of children and adults. Such examples are many, and some of them is the killing of children on the playground on June 1, 1993 during the time of a football tournament, which killed 13 civilians, including five children. Then the killing of children sledding on January 22nd 1994 that killed six children. On June 26th 1993 in Bakarevićevoj Street nr. 5 ix children who were playing in the yard during the truce were killed. They also targeted newborns, and repeatedly targeted the maternity ward “Zehra Muidović” the most terrible shelling happened on May 26th and 27th 1992, when as a result of shelling a huge power failure occured in the incubator where there were three newborn babies who have died.
“As for sniping, based on their research, I came to the conclusion that the snipers mostly shooted for the children’s head and the area around the heart, which clearly shows their intention to kill the child. In addition to the killing of shells and sniper fire, children are damaged because of the lack of medicines, and medical assistance, mainly due to the distance of the hospital or the inability of the relocation of the child to another country for treatment,” explains Mastalić-Košuta.
Children were murdered in Sarajevo in schools, on the way to school and homel, during games, but also in incubators, in the basement, during the truce, in line for bread, water, on the bike, tram and others. Children were the subject of deliberate, systematic, coordinated, widespread and direct artillery, sniper and other attacks.
Children who were shelled on November 9th 1993 in the elementary school “Prvi maj” (now “Fatima Gunić”) were the target of such attacks. Three children were killed together with their teacher Fatima Gunić. The next day, five children and four adults civilians who were playing in front of the elementary school “Zivko Josie” (now “Mak Dizdar”) were killed .