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BANJALUKA, MAY 22 /SRNA/ - The suffering of 12 innocent babies in 1992, in the then Banjaluka Clinical Centre, should be included in textbooks as a lesson for future generations about the horrors of war with no mercy for anyone and the sacrifice the mothers faced at that time, Secretary of the 12 Babies Association, Željka Tubić, said today.


"Three years ago, the discussion on including this event in history textbooks for primary school children took place, but I don't think it has been done yet. I hope it will happen soon, because what happened in this area has to be learnt," said Tubić.

Tubić, whose son was born on May 19, 1992 and died a few days later due to lack of oxygen, pointed out that the laying of wreaths at the "Life" Memorial in Banjaluka, although organised modestly this year due to extraordinary circumstances, carries an important message - that May 22, the day the first baby died, must never be forgotten.

She emphasized the importance of marking this date for the future generations in order to inform them about the war and the suffering of innocent babies, who at that time had neither a name nor nationality.

Tubić mentioned that what those world powers were like at that time, being able to suffocate innocent babies, must be made public.

She stated that the 12 Babies Association had been supported by the president of Srpska, the prime minister and numerous ministries of Srpska since its founding, and voiced hope that the government would find a way to resolve the status of mothers, for which they had been fighting for ten years.

Dragoslava Jaćimović from Derventa said that her baby was born on June 3 and died on June 5, 1992 in Banjaluka.

"This date, as every year, brings back memories of that particular day, when I was 19 and didn't know what was going on or how to cope with it. Thank God, today I have two sons, but I always sense the loss as it can never be gotten over or forgotten," said Jaćimović.

Jaćimović voiced regret over number of citizens attending the marking of this date, since the death of the babies was the trigger for the corridor breakthrough.

"It is very important for our future generations to learn about this event, as if they can learn about the history of other nations and countries, there should be a room in the textbook for this event as well," said Jaćimović.

The marking of the 28th anniversary of the death of the babies at the Banjaluka Clinical Centre due to the lack of oxygen has begun with the laying of 12 roses at the Memorial to 12 Babies at the New Cemetery in Banjaluka and a memorial service.

The roses were laid by the mothers of the deceased babies and the representatives of the Republika Srpska Organisation of Families of Captured and Killed Soldiers and Missing Civilians, which is the organiser of this commemoration.

The UN Security Council’s decision banned international flights in May and June 1992, including those with oxygen bottles from Belgrade to Banjaluka, which killed 12 newborn babies who were in incubators.

Following this tragic event, the Republika Srpska Army broke through the corridor in Posavina and cleared the road towards the border with Serbia, which had been blocked by Muslim and Croat forces until then.

The date of marking this event is May 22, because the first out of 12 babies died on that day in 1992, due to lack of oxygen, while the others died by June 19 of the same year. /end/vos