Remains of four victims of the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina were identified yesterday in the Commemorative Center in Tuzla. Among them are remains of Sabrija Ribić and his sister Ismeta, who were killed in May 1992 near Zvornik.
Zijo Ribić was only eight years old when members of paramilitary formation “Simini četnici” killed nine members of his family in Skočić near Zvornik, including both of his parents, six sisters and a brother.
As an eight-year-old boy, Zijo was the only one to survive the shooting and yesterday he identified his brother Sabrija and sister Ismeta, who were two and three years old at the time of execution. Their remains were exhumed from the mass grave Crni Vrh at the territory of Zvornik.
“I saw them for the last time in 1992. I found my father Ismet and mother Ševka couple years ago and last year in December I found my four sisters Zlatija, Suada, Almasa and Zijada. I cannot believe that someone could have done something like this,” Ribić said, remembering the horrible moments from May 1992.
“That night, members of paramilitary formation Simini četnici came to our village. They gathered us and did all sorts of things to us. Some were raped, some were robbed. Men were separate from women and children. Then they took us to the village Malešići where they prepared a pit in which they put our bodies after execution,” Ribić remembered. He was the only one who survived.
Zijo was found with injuries of his left arm and neck by two Serb soldiers who transferred him to the hospital. Then he was transferred to the Institute “Simo Milošević” in Montenegro, where he spent two years in the psychiatric ward due to heavy traumas and sleep disorders. Then he was sent to the Children’s Home Mladost-Bijela in Herceg Novi.
Zijo lives in Tuzla since 2001 and he spent four years in the local home for children without parental care. Currently he works as a cook in the restaurant of the Hotel Tuzla.
Today, Zijo is a witness to a time for which the justice is still not satisfied. Although he survived a terrible massacre in which he lost his entire family, Zijo says that there is no place for hatred in his life.
“I keep saying that hatred leads to a new war. I cannot forget because that is impossible, and I forgave because I want to live a normal life. Hatred will not bring back the members of my family, it can only bring a new war which does not necessarily have to be caused by me, but it could be caused by my child, if I convey my hatred to him,” Zijo said.
Zijo now lives in hope that he will find the remains of his sister Zlata, who was raped before execution.