This story of solidarity is about Predrag Pero Dacic, an Orthodox Christian who helped save the lives of Muslims, Bosniaks while working as an ambulance driver in the besieged Gorazde in 1992.
Predrag Pero Dacic has been a symbol of heroism for three decades to those who remember the courage he showed in 1992, in the first month of the war in Gorazde, a city in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
People who knew him described Dacic, whose family came to Gorazde from Montenegro, as an Orthodox Christian in a city with a majority Muslim population.
But when Bosnian Serb forces attacked Gorazde, which they held under siege for 1,336 days, he ignored national divisions and stayed in the city to help.
Abduselam Sijercic Pelam was one of the organizers of the armed resistance in Gorazde and the wartime commander of the 31st Drina Strike Brigade of the Army of BiH. He was also a friend of Dacic.
Sijercic recalls that at the beginning of the war, the local war hospital that was established in Gorazde did not have the equipment and staff to perform surgery, so the doctors sent ambulances to take the wounded to Uzice, Pljevlja and Sokolac.
In the first days of the battle, Dacic was one of the first to make himself available to drive wounded civilians or soldiers to other cities, because hardly anyone else dared to do so.
“On May 30th, we had some activities, the attack on Obarak (by Bosnian Serb forces) started and we had a lot of wounded. So that evening, it seems to me, four cars with the wounded left for Uzice,“ stated Sijercic.
Dacic was in one of the vehicles, while the other was driven by police officer Ratko Pjevic. On the bridge over the Drina in Visegrad, about 40 kilometers from Gorazde, there was an altercation with some Serbian fighters, who were allegedly part of a unit led by Milan Lukic, the notorious head of the paramilitary formation of the Bosnian Serb forces. Later, the Hague Tribunal sentenced Lukic to life imprisonment for war crimes committed in Visegrad.
Sijercic states that he was told that Pjevic saw Dacic arguing with fighters. “They brought him (Dacic) to the middle of the bridge and when Pjevic tried to approach, they told him: ‘Don’t approach, we will kill you too.’ So, he was not allowed to approach,” he noted.
Pjevic says that Dacic cursed Lukic during the confrontationwith Serbian fighters on the bridge. “And then they slaughtered him in the middle of the bridge and threw him from the bridge. His body was never found,” emphasizes Sijercic.
Just before the war, Dacic and his wife Munira had their first child, a girl named Dijana. Speaking for the first time to the media, Dijana Dacic, who no longer lives in BiH, told that she is proud of her father, because it can be concluded from his actions that he did not differentiate between people on the basis of nationality. “Unfortunately, that humanity cost him his life,” she explained.
More than 30 years after his death, many Gorazde citizensremember Pero Dacic warmly, but there is no public tribute to his bravery, Detektor reports.