The 30th anniversary of the horrific crime committed by the members of the Muslim army, the so-called Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was commemorated in Foča, a town in East Bosnia. They killed 43 Serbs on July 23, 1992, and in their path they burned 18 Serbian villages in the wider region of the settlement of Jabuka, then a local community in Foča.

The descendants, families and friends of the innocent people who had died in the horrific crime in Jabuka in Foča lit candles and reminisced on the tragedy, which had no survivors. The eyewitnesses claim that the pogrom was led by their Muslim neighbors. The only reason why they were killed is because they were Serbs. Each of the candles bears a name, including one lit by Neđo Mastilo.

“I lost my father and cousins, a lot of my family, which means it was an organized attack, strategically planned, and each of the villages was attacked at the right time,” said Mastilo.

Among those mercilessly killed were Novo Elez, a 13-year-old boy; Milka Kovač, a blind elderly woman; Zorka Simović, who was paralyzed; as well as Miloš Vuković, a Partizan veteran who had fought in the Battle of Sutjeska and at the Syrmian Front. There are fewer and fewer living witnesses, which makes the injustice that nobody has ever been held responsible sting that much more.

“You know, the Office of the Prosecutor of Bosnia and Herzegovina ought press charges against itself, for allowing thirty years to pass without them having done anything in the matter of Jabuka,” added Mastilo.

Ljubiša Simović, witness to the killings and head of the Association of Exiled and Displaced Serbs from Jabuka near Foča, said that he had been subpoenaed by the Office of the Prosecutor of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“They said that they should come back, because there is a lot of space between Jahorina and Previla,” pointed out Simović.

After the war, Jabuka became part of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so the remaining Serbian population was forced to move out of their homes. The remains of most of the killed Jabuka residents were then transfered to the Božovac Town Cemetery in Foča.

“Jabuka looks sad. There are very few returnees. We sometimes go to visit our Serbian cemeteries, we will not forget our departed. May they rest in eternal glory and blessed peace,” said Petroslav Ćosović, eyewitness to the killings of Serbs in Jabuka near Foča.

The Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord, which was shelled and destroyed to the ground, was rebuilt in the village, where each year in August the residents of Jabuka scattered across the world gather for the church feast day.