Doboj ethnic cleansing (1992)

Doboj ethnic cleansing
Doboj municipality

The Doboj massacre refers to war crimes, including murder, wanton destruction and ethnic cleansing, committed against Bosniaks and Croats in the Doboj area by the Yugoslav People's Army and Serb paramilitary units from April until October 1992 during the Bosnian war. The Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo registered over 2,300 dead or missing people in the area during the war.[1]

Takeover of Doboj in 1992

Doboj was strategically important during the Bosnian War. Before the war, in 1991, the population of the municipality had been 40,14% Bosniak (41.164), 38,83% Serb (39.820), 12,93% Croat (13.264), 5,62% Yugoslav (5.765) and others 2,48% (2.536).[2] The town and surrounding villages were seized by Serb forces in May 1992 with the Serbian Democratic Party taking over the governing of the city. What followed was a mass disarming and mass arrests of all non-Serb civilians (namely Bosniaks and Croats).[3]

Widespread looting and systematic destruction of the homes and property of non-Serbs commenced on a daily basis with the mosques in the town razed to the ground.[3] Many of the non-Serbs who were not immediately killed were detained at various locations in the town, subjected to inhumane conditions, including regular beatings, rape, torture and strenuous forced labour.[3] A school in Grapska and the factory used by the Bosanka company that produced jams and juices in Doboj was used as a rape camp. Four different types of soldiers were present at the rape camps including the local Serb militia, the Yugoslav Army (JNA), "Martićevci" (RSK police forces based in Knin, led by Milan Martić)[3] and members of the "White Eagles" paramilitary group.[3]

It has been documented within the UN investigations of Doboj, the incarceration of Bosnian and Croat women in a former Olympic stadium housing complex was the site of the mass rapes. Several thousand women of non-Serb origin were systematically raped and abused. Buses from in and around Belgrade brought men to the complex for the purpose of systematic raping of these women. The payment of money for this cruelty was part of the funding process by the various Serb para-military groups operating in the area. It was well known, these paramilitary groups were an extension of the JNA. Many women died at the camp in Doboj due to abuse.

ICTY convictions

In its verdict, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) stated that Biljana Plavšić and Momčilo Krajišnik, acting individually or in concert with Radovan Karadžić and others, planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted the planning, preparation or execution of the destruction, in whole or in part, of the Bosniak and Bosnian Croat national, ethnical, racial or religious groups, as such, in several municipalities, including Doboj. Plavšić was sentenced to 11 and Krajišnik to 20 years in prison.[4][5] Plavšić's indictment related to genocide charges in Doboj specifically included but were not limited to the following killings:[4]

  • the killing on or about 10 May 1992 of 34 Bosniak and/or Bosnian Croat civilians of the village of Gornja Grapska - Doboj municipality.
  • many of the Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats who survived the attacks and forced marches were taken to these camps and detention facilities, including: Bare ammunition warehouse from 1 May 1992, Spreca prison from 1 May 1992, the SUP station from 1 May to 31 July 1992, Percin’s Disco from 1 May 1992, Sevarlije JNA barracks from 1 May to 30 June 1992, and the JNA hangars near the Bosanska plantation from May 1992, all in Doboj municipality.

Other incidents under investigation include:[4]

  • the execution of 15 civilians from the Spreca Central Prison in Doboj in May 1992;
  • a series of mass executions of non-Serbs on the banks of the river Bosna on 17–19 June 1992;
  • a series of mass executions in the "4th July" military barracks in the village of Miljkovac on 12 July 1992; and
  • the use of civilians as human shields against a Bosnian Army advance the same month.

In 2011, Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović were on trial, among others for war crimes in Doboj.[6]


On 26 September 1997, Nikola Jorgić was found guilty by the Düsseldorf Oberlandesgericht (Higher Regional Court) on 11 counts of genocide involving the murder of 30 persons in the Doboj region, making it the first Bosnian Genocide prosecution. However, ICTY ruled out that genocide did not occur [4]. Jorgić's appeal was rejected by the German Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Supreme Court) on 30 April 1999. The Oberlandesgericht found that Jorgić, a Bosnian Serb, had been the leader of a paramilitary group in the Doboj region that had taken part in acts of terror against the local Bosniak population carried out with the backing of the Serb leaders and intended to contribute to their policy of "ethnic cleansing".[7][8][9]

See also


  1. IDC - Rezultati istraživanja "Ljudski gubici '91-'95" Archived 3 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine. (Posavina)
  2. Official results from the book: Ethnic composition of Bosnia-Herzegovina population, by municipalities and settlements, 1991. census, Zavod za statistiku Bosne i Hercegovine - Bilten no.234, Sarajevo 1991.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Final report of the United Nations Commission of Experts, established pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 780 (1992), Annex III.A — M. Cherif Bassiouni; S/1994/674/Add.2 (Vol. IV), 27 May 1994, Special Forces Archived 23 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine., (p. 735). Accessdate 20 January 2011
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Prosecutor v. Biljana Plavsic judgement" (PDF).
  5. "Prosecutor v. Momcilo Krajisnik judgement" (PDF). Sentenced to 27 years’ imprisonment
  6. "The Prosecutor of the Tribunal against Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic" (PDF). ICTY. December 2003. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
  7. "Jorgić, Nikola". Retrieved 4 January 2011.
  8. Alan Cowell (27 September 1997). "German Court Sentences Serb To Life for Genocide in Bosnia". New York Times. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
  9. "Bosnian Serb Given Life by German Court". Los Angeles Times. 27 September 1997. Retrieved 4 January 2011.

Coordinates: 44°44′N 18°08′E / 44.733°N 18.133°E / 44.733; 18.133

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