Eliticide in Visegrad

Yugoslav People's Army soldiers aiming anti-aircraft guns at Visegrad. April 1992.
* Eliticide/Elitocide - the systematic killing of a community’s political and economic leadership so that the community could not regenerate. One of the priorities of the Yugoslav People’s Army(JNA)/Army of Republika Srpska(VRS) was to make the Bosniak people confused and headless. In this way they were able to control and manipulate with the Bosniak population. In order to do this, throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, educated Bosniaks, political and religious leaders were arrested, jailed or murdered. This was the case in Visegrad. After the Yugoslav People’s Army occupied Visegrad, the Serb Crisis Committee (”krizni stab” led by fascist Serb Democratic Party) took control of the municipality. Leading Bosniak intellectuals, political leaders and activists, members of the Islamic Religious Community (Islamska Vjerska Zajednica), Police officers were expelled from work, arrested, jailed, called for “informative talks”, or kept under house arrest. Serb Police officials gave VRS Special Units lists of Bosniaks who possessed firearms, who then went individually man to man and asked them to turn in their firearms.

(Yugoslav People's Army soldiers at the Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic Bridge which was later used as an excecution site by Bosnian Serb Army units.) After the Yugoslav People’s Army supposedly “left” Visegrad (like in the rest of B&H, the soldiers just replaced the emblems from JNA to VRS), Bosniak intellectuals, political, economic and religious leaders were taken away and murdered by VRS Special Units :“White Eagles”,various Chetnik groups, the “Avengers” and others, all of which were under the control of VRS. This is the same pattern used in other Bosnian towns. Here are some examples of eliticide in Visegrad:

1. Safet Zejnilovic – Doctor, worked in the local hospital.

2. Fejzo Šabanija – Secretary at Party of Democratic Action (Bosniak political party)

3. Zihnija Omerovic – leading member of the Territorial Defense

(Himzo Demir) 4. Himzo Demir – Chemistry teacher, well- known Principal of Secondary School “Hamid Besirovic”.

5. Salko Suceska – Engineer

6. Halil Ahmedspahic – Engineer

(Behija Zukic's gravesite in Visegrad) 7. Behija Zukic – well-known owner of several businesses. Milan Lukic murdered Behija and her husband, stole her red Passat and drove it over the next couple of years.

(Tufo Tankovic) 8. Tufo Tankovic – Principal of “Hasan Veletovac” School. This school would soon become a concentration camp.

(Safet Effendija Karaman) 9. Safet Efendija Karaman – Imam (Muslim religious priest) at a mosque in Visegrad.

(Sadik Isic Beli) 10. Sadik Isic Beli – Mechanical engineer, worked in “Terpentina” factory.