Twenty-seven years ago, the Serbian authorities in Prijedor ordered the homes of Bosniaks and Croats in Prijedor to mark their homes with white sheets and to wear white ribbons on their sleeves in public places. It was followed by extermination, murder and persecution.
The order to have non-Serb homes and their property labeled in Prijedor was issued by the Crisis Staff of municipality Prijedor. President of the Crisis Staff Milomir Stakić was convicted to 40 years in jail in the Hague Tribunal. In the case ‘Prijedor’, it is stated that during the war, a planned deportation of around 20.000 non-Serb inhabitants from this municipality took place. The government of the RS formed a network of concentration camps in this area, among which are the notorious Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje.
According to the judgment at the Hague Tribunal, the former President of the Crisis Staff of municipality Prijedor Milomir Stakić is responsible for the killing of more than 1.500 people in this municipality, including the murder of around 120 men in the concentration camp Keraterm. Stakić is also responsible for the execution of about 200 people at Korićani cliffs, on mount Vlašić on 21 August 1992.
The International Day of White Ribbons will be marked on 31st May in Prijedor, as well as all over the world, and will once again remind on the crimes that occurred on the non-Serbian population in this city in the conflict in B&H during the early 1990’s.
“In our city, 27 years ago, a total of 102 children were killed. They were killed because their existence stood in the way of the ideology of separation of peoples and ethnically pure country where there was no place for those who were not Serbs,” stated activists of the Initiative “Jer me se tice (Because I care)” from Prijedor.
These are the facts, and it is also the fact that the city authorities do not allow families of murdered children to make a monument in the city center with the aim of paying tribute to that children.
“Our fellow citizens, citizens of Prijedor, especially young people, should not take the burden of crimes that were committed by some older fellow citizens, not even in the case that those are fathers and grandfathers of some of them. The current government is putting that burden on them and they will do that to their descendants as well,” stated activists.
They added that Prijedor recorded some difficult periods in its history, in which citizens of Prijedor have suffered a lot. They were persecuted and killed because of their identity or beliefs.
“This is not a question of politics. Monument to children that were killed in Prijedor is not “Bosniak question”, nor a question of nationalism. This is a question of humanity and ending this paralysis in which the city is choking ever since the war, and it is a question of what kind of Prijedor we want to live in. If Prijedor is your city, then the White Ribbons Day is your fight. Join us”, as stated in the invitation to citizens from the Initiative “Jer me se tice (Because I care)”.