This morning, on the slopes of Zec Hill, near Fojnica, a commemoration was held for the fallen pilots of the G222 “Lyra 34” military plane, shot down on September 3, 1992 during the transport of humanitarian aid to the civilian population of besieged Sarajevo.
Despite restrictions because of Covid-19, the embassy again this year wanted to pay tribute to the four crew members, Marco Betti, Marco Rigliac, Giuseppe Buttaglieri and Giuliano Velardi, holders of the Golden Orders for Courage, who died in this tragic event.
Laying a wreath at a memorial erected near the plane crash, Ambassador Minasi recalled that their sacrifice for peace was even more important 25 years after the suppression of the Dayton Peace Accords ending the war in the former Yugoslavia.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the BiH Ministry of Defense, EUFOR-Althea Commander, Major General Reinhard Trischak and NATO Deputy Commander in Sarajevo, Brigadier General Morten Henriksen together with Italian military personnel working for the two missions, and the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto, prayed in memory of those killed.
Italy is still present today with its contingent within the EUFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as within the NATO mission, to help maintain a secure environment and cooperate with the authorities and the local population. Since May 2020, two Italian military doctors have also been in Sarajevo, specializing in anti-COVID procedures, who are cooperating with local hospitals through EUFOR to improve pandemic response activities.