MONUMENT TO 1600 SARAJEVO CHILDREN KILLED BY SERBIAN TERRORISTS
PHOTO: Bosnian girls lay flowers at a newly inaugurated memorial to children of Sarajevo, Saturday, May 9, 2009. The memorial is dedicated to the children of Sarajevo who were killed by the Bosnian Serb troops during the 43-months siege of Bosnia’s capital during which more than 12,000 people, including more than 1,600 children, were killed.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted two Serb generals of numerous crimes against humanity, including on terror charges, in their conduct of the siege. Serb Gen. Stanislav Galic and Gen. Dragomir Milosevic were found guilty on terrorist charges and sentenced to life imprisonment and 33 years imprisonment, respectively.
The monument consists of a glass unfinished sand castle in the shape of a pyramid. It symbolises the play of children being cut short by death. The pyramid has partially been made from the spent cartridges that were found in the city after the war.
The Siege of Sarajevo is the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. Serb forces of the self-proclaimed Republika Srpska and the Yugoslav People’s Army (later to become the Army of Serbia and Montenegro) besieged Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from April 5, 1992 to February 29, 1996 during the Bosnian War.
PHOTO: Bosnian children throw flowers into the Miljacka river from a bridge where the first civilian victim of Sarajevo’s 1992-1995 siege was killed April 6, 2009. The Bosnian capital marks each April 6 as the anniversary date of the beginning of its devastating siege.
After Bosnia and Herzegovina had declared independence from Yugoslavia the Serbs – whose strategic goal was to create a new Serbian State of Republika Srpska (RS) that would include the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina – encircled Sarajevo with a siege force of 18,000 stationed in the surrounding hills, from which they assaulted the city with weapons that included artillery, mortars, tanks, anti-aircraft guns, heavy machine-guns, multiple rocket launchers, rocket-launched aircraft bombs, and sniper rifles. From May 2, 1992, the Serbs blockaded the city.
The Bosnian government defence forces were poorly equipped and unable to break the siege. More than 12,000 civilians were killed during the Sarajevo siege. The three-and-a-half year war claimed at least 100,000 lives, and 2.2 million people were forced to flee.
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