Former prisoner of war camp, Sakib Ahmetovic from Bratunac, has been searching for his sister Razija and brother-in-law Avdo Halilovic, who disappeared in 1992, for almost three decades. Disappointed with the work of the institutions in finding missing persons and prosecuting those responsible for their murders, he calls for an end to the vow of silence.
Sakib Ahmetovic saw his sister for the last time in 1991 and – from the following spring until the end of the war – he knew nothing about her fate. It was only in 1997 that he received information about what happened to his sister and brother-in-law who lived in the village of Tegare, but to this day he has not found the bodies.
The Bosniak population from this Bratunac village left their homes in the spring of 1992, says Ahmetovic.
“They were hiding in the forest, and they would come home to get food. However, in May they were ambushed and my sister, along with two other women and a boy, were caught in the placeTegare. From there, they were taken to the Fakovici,” says Ahmetovic.
The boy, who was with his sister Razija, was released. Later, he told his family that the people who arrested them told him that he should run away because he was young, and the women were taken away.
“That boy told the truth and without him, nothing would have been known about it. Unfortunately, he also later died in Srebrenica,” noted Ahmetovic, who knows the names of the two people who took his sister.
At the time of his sister’s abduction, Ahmetovic was in a war camp at the Bratunac elementary school, from where he was transferred to Pale, and then exchanged. After the end of the war, in 1997, he learned about the disappearance of his sister and her husband, Avdo, who was reported to have disappeared in the area of Srebrenica.
“It is not clear to me – as a civilian victim of the war – that the institutions working on finding people have not shown interest,” says Ahmetovic, who believes that many graves would not have been moved if they had worked more efficiently.
He says that the vow of silence is not good for any nation and calls on all people who have information about graves or potential locations to report them.
“Not many people were brought to Fakovici. We don’t know what happened to them – whether they were killed and buried, or thrown into the Drina. That data could be obtained. There are many bodies in the Drina; Zvornik Lake is full of bones, just like Perucac, but everyone is silent,” he says.
Today, Ahmetovic has only memories and one photograph of his sister Razija, who was 58 years old in 1992. His sister and brother-in-law had a daughter who today lives in Seljublje, a settlement in Kalesija.
Brother-in-law Avdo, who worked as a janitor at the school in Tegare, as well as sister Razija, notes Ahmetovic, were not people who divided others by nationality and they shared good and bad things with their neighbors until the war, Detektor writes.