Dr. Dorothy McClellan




Thirty years have passed since the terrible, cruel crimes committed against the Croatians in the municipality of Travnik. Thirty captured wounded Croatian Defense Council members and civilians were killed in Maljine. During the exhumation of the bodies, it was noted that subsequent procedures were carried out in the mass grave with the aim of concealing any trace of the crime.

By June 4, 1993, the Croatians had already been expelled from the western part of the municipality, from the entire area from Travnik itself to Turbet on both sides of the Lašva river.

On June 8, in addition to the expulsion of Croatians, the most serious crimes against the civilian population and prisoners of the Travnik region took place. On that day, 112 Croats (56 civilians and 56 Croatian Defense Council soldiers) were cruelly murdered.

From the beginning of the conflict until June 10, 1993, the forces of the BiH Army expelled about 19,000 Croats from the territory of the municipality of Travnik. The largest number of the expelled Croatians, about 12,000 of them, took refuge in the territory of the municipality of Novi Travnik and about 4,000 in the territory of the municipality of Vitez. About 2,000 Travnik Croatians fled to the Republic of Croatia, and 1,322 were accepted in Herzegovina--829 in the municipality of Čapljina and 503 in the municipality of Ljubuški. About 2,000 Croatian remained in Nova Bila in the municipality of Travnik, an area under the control of the Croatian Defense Council. In Nova Bila there was also a Franciscan hospital “Franciscan Dr. Mato Nikolić” that accepted and treated wounded soldiers and civilians from the entire Lašvan Valley, and among them were Serbs and Bosniaks.

Ritual Crimes by the Mujahidin Against the Croatians of Travnik In full view of the whole world, the El-Muđahid Unit was attached to the 7th Muslim Brigade of the 3rd Corps of the BiH Army under the direct command of Alija Izetbegović. Members of the 7th Muslim Brigade and the El-Muđahid Unit committed numerous cruel crimes against the Croatians in central Bosnia, including the ritual slaughter and beheading of helpless and innocent victims.

The first such crime was committed on June 8, 1993 in the village of Čukle in Travnik. According to Tomislav Rajić, a member of the War Command and Chief of Staff of the Travnik Croatian Defense Council Brigade, “June 8, 1993 was the most tragic day in the history of the Croatians of Travnik. At that time, about 20,000 Croatians were expelled from the area of this municipality, amidst looting, arson and demolition.” Numerous crimes were committed against captured members of the Croatian Defense Council and Croatian civilians. Those who managed to escape from captivity described torture and ritual slaughter, specifically in the village of Čukle in the Brajkovići parish of Travnik.

In 1995, in Čuklo, Brajkovići and Podovi, an exhumation was carried out under Tomislav Rajić’s leadership and 15 bodies of murdered Croatians were discovered. Among them was the body of Pera Matković without his severed head, and the body of sixteen-year-old Sreća Marijanović, whose severed head was buried on his chest.

The second crime of ritual slaughter took place in the autumn of 1993 in the Mujahidin camp in the occupied Croatian village of Orašac in Travnik, where the Mujahidin and members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina detained five prominent Croatian citizens of Travnik who had remained even after the invasion of the troops of the Army of BIH and the persecution of the Croatians in their homes.

The Horrors of Ritual Killings

The Muđahedin killed Dragan Popović by ritually cutting off his head. This was attempted by a local young Mujahid who fainted during the attempt. Another local Mujahid successfully “passed the Mujahidin maturity test”; They put the poor man’s severed head on a tray and carried it around. Travnik high school professor Ivo Rajković and respected businessman Ivo Fišić testified about this terrible atrocity of the Mujahidin and the BiH army before the legitimate authorities. To date, no one has yet been held accountable for the crimes. The remains of Dragan Popović were never found. At the burial site in Orašac identified by Rajković and Fišić, a horse skeleton was found.

There were many crimes committed against the Croatians by the Mujahidin and their BIH members and followers. Croatian calls for truth and justice remain unheard. The crimes of the Muslims of the BiH army and the Mujahidin are invisible and remain unpunished. There is still no official tribute paid to the victims by officials in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which represents the three constituent nations of this artificial republic, one of which is Croatian. Nor is there an official tribute by officials in Zagreb, the capital of the Republic of Croatia.

To this day in June 2023, 30 years after the crime, no indictment for genocide has been brought before the state bodies of the Republic, nor before the International Court for War crimes.

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