In Sarajevo: The Martyrs' Memorial Cemetery Kovači
The Martyrs' Memorial Cemetery Kovači in Stari Grad, Sarajevo is the main cemetery for soldiers from the Bosnian Army who were killed during the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina (April 1992 - December 1995) by the Army of Republika Srpska. It is also known for the tomb of Alija Izetbegović (1993-2003), the first president of the independent Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 1992 to 1996.
The Siege of Sarajevo was the longest siege of a capital city in the modern history. After being initially besieged by the forces of the Yugoslav People's Army, Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was besieged by the Army of Republika Srpska from 5 April 1992 to 29 February 1996 during the Bosnian War.
When Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia after the Bosnian independence referendum in 1992, the Bosnian Serbs -whose strategic goal was to create a new Bosnian Serb state of Republika Srpska that would include Bosniak-majority areas- encircled Sarajevo with a siege force of 13,000 stationed in the surrounding hills. From there they assaulted the city with artillery, tanks and small arms. From 2 May 1992 the Serbs blockaded the city. The Bosnian government defence forces inside the besieged city, numbering some 70,000 troops, were poorly equipped and unable to break the siege. A total of 13,952 people were killed during the siege, including 5,434 civilians.
The Bosnian government officially declared an end to the siege of Sarajevo on 29 February 1996, when Bosnian Serb forces left positions in and around the city. More than 70,000 Sarajevan Serbs subsequently left the Muslim-controlled districts of the city and moved to the Republika Srpska, taking all of their belongings with them.
These photos were taken in August 2017.