Victim self-defense: Bosniak resistance in Visegrad
In every Genocide, there are people who realize the awful truth and prepare to defend their homes and family. Today we shall remember those, who prepared, fought and did not allow their home-town to fall to enemy hands without a bullet fired. In the Visegrad, there are several persons who should be remembered.
1. Zijad Subasic, a young member of the illegal Patriotic League(PL), he was the PL leader in Visegrad according to PL leader Kerim Lucarevic. In late ’91 and early ’92, he and a couple of other young Bosniak men bought and transported small arms to Visegrad from Sarajevo via Gorazde. Zijad and his men managed to stop the Uzice Corps in Dobrun (outskirts of Visegrad near the Serbian border) and capture 40 “White Eagles”. They held this position for five days and thus allowing many Bosniaks in village areas to flee. Zijad was injured during one street fight and sent to Foca(which was not occupied by the JNA yet). After the occupation of Foca, Zijad was taken from his hospital bed by some local Serbs from Visegrad and slaughtered on the Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic bridge. R.I.P
2. Murat Sabanovic, led an armed group which captured a few Serb policemen and held them captive in the Hydroelectric dam in Visegrad, thus allowing Bosniak civilians from Visegrad and surrounding villages to flee. He became famous after a televised telephone conversation with the Commander of the JNA in Sarajevo General Miltutin Kukanjac in which he swore (which was unthinkable in the Communist regime) at General Kukanjac. Sabanovic claimed that he had explosives (but he did not) and that he is going to blow up the dam if the JNA did not retreat from Visegrad. This lasted a few days and was finished by intervention of B&H President Alija Izetbegovic who pleaded with Sabanovic “not to blow up the dam”. Sabanovic’s actions were more strategic and psychological than military.
*Desperate General Milutin Kukanjac begging Murat Sabanovic not to blow up the Visegrad dam.
3. Ahmet Sejdic, Commander of the First Visegrad Brigade formed in early May near Medjedja, Visegrad. It was made up of refugees and Visegrad Genocide survivors, former concentration camp inmates, rape victims etc. These were people who had high moral and nothing to loose. Their only aim was to liberate Visegrad. Fighters of the First Visegrad Brigade were able to liberate a few strategic villages and basically keep (a large part) the left side of the Drina river under control. They are popular for having taken Zaglavak (a hill above Visegrad) from Russian volunteers in the Army of Republika Srpka(VRS), about 15 Russians were killed in that operation. The First Visegrad Brigade held their positions until May 1993, almost a year of resistance on Visegrad territory.
4.Zaim Kustura, Ahmet Sejdic’s deputy, a people’s hero famous for leading expeditions in Visegrad’s hills and forests and rescuing Bosniaks hiding there. He is believed to have saved hundreds if not thousands of lives.
5.Mehmed Tvrtkovic, Commander of Visegrad’s Territorial Defense.
Image: Members of the First Visegrad Brigade in the forest near Vsiegrad preparing for an operation.
Image: Female members of the First Visegrad Brigade. Women who were raped or sexually abused or whose husbands or children were murdered in Visegrad by the Bosnian Serb Army joined up the resistance.