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Story about the only organized Rebellion of the People against the Government in Yugoslavia

On the 6th of May 1950 in Cazin Krajina, in around 20 villages of Cazin and Kladusa district and neighboring villages across Korana River in Kordun, there was only one, recorded in the history, organized armed rebellion of people against the government in the former Yugoslavia.

The rebels attacked several agricultural cooperatives and disarmed one police station, and other than that, there was no other major consequences for the country. However, the government led by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the Directorate of State Security (aka UDBE) characterized the rebellion of the nation as a counter-revolutionary act of large-scale that is encouraged from abroad. However, such accusations were quite unfounded and never proven, especially since the leaders of the rebellion were campaigners and prominent partisans: Milan Bozic and Ale Covic, who were the most popular people among the peasants and people that they trusted.

Around 1,000 people participated in the “rebellion”. From that number, very few people were Orthodox, while the vast majority were Muslims.

The rebellion was soon suffocated by the superior forces of the JNA, and the “people’s government” dealt with the rebels. At least 15 people were killed without trial on their doorstep or in the nearby forests, and graves of some of them are still not known. About 20 rebels were sentenced to death. Some of them were later forgiven, and 6 of them were shot. Dozens of them were sentenced to long prison sentences, and even more of them were sentenced to “community service”, for a period of several months up to 2 or more years.

Especially interesting fact is that about 115 families with about 777 members, were condemned the “collective punishment” of eviction, which is unheard case of this kind of sanctions for the whole period of communist rule in Yugoslavia.

Although there was no legal basis, nor existing legislation in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that would provide criminal punishment of “collective relocation” of entire families, and after a trial for these 115 families, mostly Muslims with a total of 777 members (including women, children and the elderly), they were collectively evicted from the area of municipalities Cazin and Kladusa (where lived over 90% Muslim population) to the municipality with significant name – Srbac (where lived over 90% of the Orthodox Serbian population).

This measure of collective eviction, where even the minor children were punished for “sins” of their fathers, was only comparable with similar “criminal actions” of Stalin in the USSR, which were directed against entire nations, such as Chechens, Crimean Tatars and others, which were collectively evicted from their homes and relocated to other locations, and some of them completely disappeared on that occasion.

Cazin rebellion strongly marked the lives of many families from this area, it determined uncertain and difficult economic development of this region and caused a series of problems to many families and their children that they had to deal with through their lives.

The Municipal Council of Cazin in 2011 passed the Resolution on the condemnation of massive violations of human rights of the civilian population in the Cazin Krajina in 1950 and crimes committed by the totalitarian regime of the former Yugoslavia. Resolution was confirmed by the Assembly of USC in 2013, and it was submitted to higher levels of the state.

(Source: M. C./Klix.ba)

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