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22 years since kidnapping of 8 miners in Kosovo: They were taken, the crime's traces covered

Eight victims are among 1,647 missing people whose fate is unknown

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Printscreen: Youtube/Kosovo Online

By laying flowers at the "Istina" ("Truth") monument near the main bridge on the Ibar River in North Mitrovica, members of the Association of Families of the Kidnapped and Missing in Kosovo marked today the 22nd anniversary of the first mass abduction of Serbs, when ten people were taken at the Belacevac surface mine near Obilic. Among them were eight miners.

The president of the Association, Milorad Trifunovic, said that family members are looking for their loved ones, hoping that one day they would learn the truth and find them, Kosovo Online writes.

"We've been hearing various stories and false promises and today we stand with a killed hope, not to say hopeless, that it will ever be clarified where and when our loved ones died and where they are today. While some mark births, baptisms, weddings, we cannot even mention them, because it is not known whether our mothers, fathers, sons, brothers are alive or dead," said Trifunovic.

He pointed out that all these year, they have been looking for the truth and turning to various addresses, but that there isn't anyone left to ask for help, because it turned out that no one wants to help them.

"We are looking for the truth, and they are showering us with lies. Before our eyes, they destroy the evidence and kill those murdered all over again while patting  us on the shoulder saying we are only imagining it. They encouraged us that the truth would be known at least about some of the kidnapped people. Works started on the location of Zilivode and we believed that there were good people who would help us. But in the end, after four years, a fire broke out which, we are sure, was started on purpose. We have not yet recovered from the shock that our dead were desecrated and set on fire again and that not even dust is left of them, while the Pristina authorities, that is, the judges and executioners of our loved ones, announced that there had been no remains at Zilivode," said Trifunovic and added that this was happening in front of the eyes of the international community.

Trifunovic said that the fate of a total of 1,647 people is still unknown and stressed that families will continue to search for their loved ones until the last case of abducted Serbs in Kosovo has been solved.

"Our agony continues and we are still searching. We notice that we are standing still and returning to the beginning. Nobody can deny us the right to hope, and we will search until we find the last one," Trifunovic concluded.

Petar Brakus from Nedakovec, who worked together with the kidnapped miners from the Belacevac surface mine, also attended the commemoration held near the monument.

"These were young people who were kidnapped on their way to work. The bus was stopped halfway and they were taken in an unknown direction. We heard about it fairly quickly and tried to react, but we didn't manage to find them, and since then there has been no trace or news about them," said Brakus.


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