World Bulletin / News Desk
The Ahmići massacre was the culmination of the Lašva Valley ethnic cleansing committed by the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia's political and military leadership on Bosnian Muslim civilians during the Bosnian War in April 1993.
The massacre of the the Ahmici was the biggest massacre committed during the war between Croats and the Bosnian government (dominated by Bosniaks). The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague ruled that these crimes were crimes against humanity in numerous charges against Croat political and military leaders and soldiers. In particular Dario Kordić, political leader of Croats in Central Bosnia was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
In his summary of the Judgement read out in court, Judge Cassese stated that,
“The Trial Chamber is satisfied, on the evidence before it in this case, that this was not a combat operation. Rather, it was a well-planned and well-organised killing of civilian members of an ethnic group, the Muslims, by the military of another ethnic group, the Croats. The primary purpose of the massacre was to expel the Muslims from the village, by killing many of them, by burning their houses, slaughtering their livestock, and by illegally detaining and deporting the survivors to another area. The ultimate goal of these acts was to spread terror among the population so as to deter the members of that particular ethnic group from ever returning to their houses.”
Judge Cassese also commented that,
“Indisputably, what happened on 16 April in Ahmici has gone down in history as comprising one of the most vicious illustrations of man’s inhumanity to man. Today, the name of that small village must be added to the long list of previously unknown hamlets and towns that recall abhorrent misdeeds and make all of us shudder with horror and shame: Dachau, Oradour sur Glane, Katijn, Marzabotto, Soweto, My Lai, Sabra and Shatila, and so many others.”
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