Home > srebrenica massacre > SENIDA BECIROVIC (MILA JANKOVIC)

SENIDA BECIROVIC (MILA JANKOVIC)

February 8, 2009
Story about a Muslim baby who was abducted and baptized by Serbs, and then – against all odds – reunited with her Bosniak father 16 years later…


MAP: Location of Caparde village, approximately 25 miles away from the town of Srebrenica (or some 10 miles away from the Srebrenica county), where Serbs formed Bordello concentration camp to repeatedly rape Bosniak women and young girls in 1992.

In 1992, Serbs attacked Bosniak Muslim village Caparde, some 20 miles away from Srebrenica (or some 10 miles away from the Srebrenica county – see map), killing trapped Muslim civilians. A nine-month-old Muslim baby Senida Becirovic, was abducted from her mother by Serb soldiers and sent to Serbia to be baptized into “Mila Jankovic.” Times Online reported that “Senida, now called Mila, had been raised as a Serb and a Christian and had no knowledge of her blood relatives or her heritage as a Bosnian Muslim.” As reported by Serbian journalist Nenad Pejic (RFEL), baby’s mother Senada, 2-year old sister Saida and four other close relatives are still missing.

After capturing Caparde in 1992, Serbs formed Bordello concentration camp in the village. Captive Muslim women were repeatedly raped, many of them intentionally impregnated and forced to carry Serb children in their wombs as a ‘punishment.’ Senida’s mother and sister most likely met the fate of other Muslim women and girls in Caparde who were repeatedly raped, tortured, or simply killed and thrown into undisclosed mass graves in the area. After losing his wife and two young children in 1992, Muhamed Becirovic gave up any hope of seeing them alive again, but he continued to search for them so he could provide them with a proper Muslim burrial.

Telegraph reported that in the 1992 Caparde attack, “Muslim men and women were thrown into concentration camps, where many were executed or raped. Muslim houses were demolished.” Their report is corroborated by the United Nations who investigated and confirmed the existence of Caparde Bordello concentration camp where captive women were repeatedly raped by Serbs. The excerpt from the U.N. report (Annex VIII – part 3/10) confirms the worst:

“Caparde «Bordello»: (The existence of this detention facility has been corroborated by multiple sources, including Amnesty International.) It is reported that 40 young Muslim women from the town of Brezovo Polje were held and systematically raped in a makeshift bordello in a furniture warehouse in Caparde following the capture of the town by Serb forces in early summer 1992. On 17 June 1992, about 1,000 women, children and old people were taken away from the village by Serbian forces, arriving in the town of Caparde several days later. At Caparde, the older women were separated from the younger women (15-25). The younger women were then held for several nights in a furniture warehouse and repeatedly raped before rejoining the older women and later being released.”

According to the same report, on one occassion Serbs transfered 12 busses of Bosniak Muslim civilians from an unknown location to the Bordello Caparde concentration camp:

“It is reported that between 17 and 19 June, extremists bussed non-Serbian civilians in 12 buses from Brcko to Bijeljina. These people were allegedly tortured for several days at Majevica, and then some of them returned to Bijeljina, while some were taken to Caparde in Kalesija county, where after two days of torture, they were released and managed to flee to Kladanj and Tuzla.”


PHOTO: Senida Becirovic (aka: Mila Jankovic) returns to Caparde 16 years later. Caparde is the Bosnian village she was born in and abducted from by Serb soldiers in 1992.

After 16 years of active searching for his missing daughter, Muhamed Becirovic reunited with his missing daughter in January. Red Cross used DNA analysis to trace missing child, now 17 year old girl, to her location in Serbia. She was living with elderly Serbian foster parents.

“All this seems to me like some dream where different people I know nothing about suddenly turn up. There are no words to describe this feeling. I am so happy and I am not happy at the same time, I am glad and I am not glad. They are my flesh and blood and I am happy to have found my family… Of course I am very happy to have found my family and my roots. But at the moment it is all too much for me. My father is still a stranger to me and cannot replace my foster parents… No one tries to understand what is going on in my head. Right now I just want to go on with my old life. Everyone will still call me Mila,” she told The Sunday Telegraph.

Senida told Times Online that she does not want to go to Germany and live with her father. “I don’t want to go to Germany or any other foreign country. I am definitely not ready for all this.” Instead, she went to Caparde to meet with her mother’s sister, Mejra Hasic, who still lives in the area.


PHOTO: Senida Becirovic, aka Mila Jankovic, reunites with her aunt Mejra Hasic in Caparde, 16 years later.

Senida Becirovic seems to be slowly coming back to her old Bosniak Muslim roots – where she belongs. There is an old Bosniak saying: “Blood is not Water,” and “Mila Jankovic” has already requested a Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Citizenship/Passport under a proper Muslim name that was given to her by her missing mother who was likely tortured and killed by the same Serb captors who abducted and baptized Senida in 1992.

Read more:
1. Times Online – Dilemma for daughter found 16 years after war abduction
2.
Telegraph – Bosnian war ‘orphan’ snatched as a baby finds father after 16 years
3.
Bosnian Institute – A missing Bosnian baby, now a Serbian teenager, searches for identity (also see original reporting by Radio Free Europe, contains photos of Senida Becirovic, aka Mila Jankovic).
4. Photo Gallery: Serbs around Srebrenica burned unarmed Bosniak women, babies, and elderly alive (viewer discretion advised).

  1. Sarah Franco
    February 9, 2009 at 8:23 am | #1

    All adopted children dream about going back to to their origins. Senida is still very young, and according to some reports she was a problematic teenager. however, she seems to be revealing a lot of maturity. as many examples from abducted children in Argentina have shown, it is possible to overcome the deep trauma to which she has been subjected.

  2. Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor
    February 9, 2009 at 8:44 pm | #2

    Thank you Sarah. We certainly wish her all the best and hope she bonds with her father and with her people.

  3. visegrad92
    February 10, 2009 at 7:15 pm | #3

    There have been similar cases in Visegrad during WW2.Unfortunately little has been documented. Thanks Dan for sharing this with us.

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