THE HAGUE | 17.02.2004.

WHO BURNED HOUSES IN GUCA GORA?

After an attack by the BH Army on the village of Guca Gora, the Croat population fled and its houses were then systematically looted and burned.

After an attack by the BH Army on the village of Guca Gora in June 1993, the Croat population fled and its houses were then systematically looted and burned. That’s according to the testimony of Tomislav Rajic, given in the trial of then-commander of the BH Army 3rd Corps in Central Bosnia, Enver Hadzihasanovic, and the commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade, Amir Kubura.

After the village was attacked on 8 June, some of the armed Croats from the village surrendered to UNPROFOR and took shelter in the village’s church. The witness Rajic was one of them. The next day an UNPROFOR patrol brought the bodies of seven people, including old people, who were killed during the fighting to the church.

“On the day of the fighting only one stable was burned, while later the whole village was systematically burned, and that continued even after the ceasefire,” Rajic testified.

Asked by the prosecutor who was responsible for the burning of the village, the looting, and the killings, the witness said it was the area of responsibility of the BH Army 306th Mountain Brigade. He could see houses on fire from Nova Bila, but he could not see the individual people who set them on fire. “There was no one else to burn them but those who had expelled us from there,” he concluded.

General Hadzihasanovic’s defence intervened by warning that the witness had not directly seen the perpetrators and that he could only “speculate” about them. When asked by the presiding judge whether the allegation that the houses were set on fire by those who had forced them out was his “conclusion or intuition,” Rajic said, “That’s the truth, and what we shall call it, I don’t know.”

The indictment says that the BH Army 7th Muslim Brigade, the 306th Mountain Brigade and the 17th Krajina Brigade were involved in the attack on Guca Gora, including the destruction and looting. It also says Enver Hadzihasanovic was responsible for those acts as commander of the Corps to which these units were attached.