Sarajevo remembers first Bosnian war victims, 20 years on

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Sarajevo remembers first Bosnian war victims, 20 years on

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People in Sarajevo are commemorating the 20th anniversary of the start of the Bosnian war – and in particular remembering the two young women who became the first symbolic civilian victims.

A nearby bridge was named after them and many people still lay flowers there, in memory of all innocent victims of the conflict.

On April 5, 1992, Suada Dilberovic and Olga Susic were taking part in a peaceful rally demanding a solution to Bosnia’s independence from Yugoslavia.

Panic ensued when Serb snipers began firing on the crowd. Both women were shot dead.

The next day the EU recognised Bosnia and Herzegovina’s independence. The date marked the official start of the three-and-a-half year war.

Azra Jukic, a local resident who witnessed the shooting, believes the victims died in vain.

“We don’t have the one unified country we wished for, we are still not living side by side with good relations. I think they were killed for nothing,” she said.

The Bosnian war saw Muslims, Croats and Serbs who had been neighbours turn on each other. 200,000 were killed; nearly two million were forced from their homes.

The Dayton accord that ended the war in 1995 divided the country into a Muslim-Croat federation and a Serb republic.