The Bijeljina massacre refers to the killings of thousands of Bosniak civilians by the Serbian military and paramilitary groups, chiefly Arkan’s Tigers, during the first months of the Bosnian Genocide in 1992.
Arkan’s Tigers, who enjoyed full logistical and military support of Serbia’s State Security aparatus, invaded Bijeljina on 31 March 1992 during a Holy Muslim month of Ramadan. In the ensuing weeks and months, thousands of Bosniaks were persecuted, tortured, raped and killed in Bijeljina. Photographer Ron Haviv was in Biljeina to witness and take some of the iconic photos of the Serbian ethnic cleansing of Bijeljina — the brutality that became synonymous with the 1992-95 Bosnian Genocide.
Jovan Dimitrijevic, who appeared as a defense witness in Simatovic case, testified that the person kicking civilians [in the photo below ↓ ] was Srdjan Golubovic “Maks”. Dimitrijevic maintained that civilians were not alive when kicked. However, according to another Arkan member Goran Gerovac, who served in the Serbian Volunteer Guard, these civilians were still alive when they were kicked. Gerovac said Bosniak civilians were [also] kicked by Nebojša Đorđević Šuca (who can be seen in the center of the photograph).
Bijeljina Genocide: In Prosecutor v Slobodan Milosevic, the International Criminal Tribunal rejected “motion for judgment of acquittal” and concluded that Genocide occurred in seven Bosnian municipalities, including Bijeljina. On 16 June 2004, the Court ruled:
“On the basis of the inference that may be drawn from this evidence, a Trial Chamber could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that there existed a joint criminal enterprise, which included members of the Bosnian Serb leadership, whose aim and intention was to destroy a part of the Bosnian Muslim population, and that genocide was in fact committed in Brcko, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Srebrenica, Bijeljina, Kljuc and Bosanski Novi. The genocidal intent of the Bosnian Serb leadership can be inferred from all the evidence, including the evidence set out in paragraphs 238 -245. The scale and pattern of the attacks, their intensity, the substantial number of Muslims killed in the seven municipalities, the detention of Muslims, their brutal treatment in detention centres and elsewhere, and the targeting of persons essential to the survival of the Muslims as a group are all factors that point to genocide.”