Markale massacres

1st Markale Market Shelling
Sarajevo Markt05.jpg
LocationSarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Date5 February 1994
Between 12:10-12:15 (Central European Time)
TargetOpen air market
Attack type
Mortar attack
Non-fatal injuries
PerpetratorsArmy of the Republika Srpska[1][2]

The Markale market shelling or Markale massacres were two separate bombardments carried out by the Army of the Republika Srpska[1][2][3] targeting civilians during the Siege of Sarajevo in the Bosnian War. They occurred at the Markale (marketplace) located in the historic core of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The first occurred on 5 February 1994; 68 people were killed and 144 more were wounded. The second occurred on 28 August 1995 when five mortar shells killed 43 people and wounded 75 others. This latter attack was the alleged reason for NATO air strikes against Bosnian Serb forces that would eventually lead to the Dayton Peace Accords and the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The responsibility of the Army of the Republika Srpska for the first shelling is contested, since investigations to establish the location from where the shells had been fired did not lead to unambiguous results. It was claimed that actually the Bosnian army had shelled its own people in order to provoke intervention of Western countries on their side. Even though ICTY in its appeal judgement of Stanislav Galić in 2006 summarized the evidence and ruled that the conclusion that the shells had been fired from a location occupied by Serbian forces was a reasonable one,[3] still Radovan Karadžić during his trial before ICTY tried to use this rumour to his defense, but to no avail.[4][5][6]

First massacre

The first massacre occurred between 12:10 and 12:15, on 5 February 1994, when a 120 millimeter mortar shell landed in the center of the crowded marketplace.[7][better source needed] Republika Srpska authorities denied all responsibility and accused the Bosnian government of bombarding its own people to incite international outrage and NATO intervention.[8] Rescue workers and United Nations (UN) personnel rushed to help the numerous civilian casualties, while footage of the event soon made news reports across the world.[7][better source needed] Controversy over the event started when an initial UNPROFOR report claimed that the shell was fired from Bosnian government positions. General Michael Rose, the British head of UNPROFOR, revealed in his memoirs that three days after the blast he told General Jovan Divjak, the deputy commander of ARBiH forces, that the shell had been fired from Bosnian positions.[7][better source needed] A later and more in-depth UNPROFOR report noted a calculation error in the original findings. With the error corrected, the United Nations concluded that it was impossible to determine which side had fired the shell.[9][better source needed] In December 2003, the ICTY Trial Chamber in the trial against Stanislav Galić, a Serb general in the siege of Sarajevo (for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity), concluded that the massacre was committed by Serb forces around Sarajevo.[1][2]

Other Languages
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Masakri na Markalama