10 Nov 14
Montenegro Bosniaks Demand 1924 Massacre Recognition
The Montenegrin government was urged to finally acknowledge and condemn the Royal Yugoslav Army’s killing of around 1,000 Bosniak civilians in the northern village of Sahovici.
Archive image of the aftermath of the killings in 1924.
Bosniak political parties and organisations in Montenegro held a commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the killings on Sunday in the town of Bijelo Polje and urged the Podgorica authorities to condemn the massacre, return property to the Islamic community and rebuild a ruined mosque in Sahovici.
In a joint statement, they also called on the Serbian Orthodox Church in Serbia and Montenegro to “clearly and unequivocally distance itself” from the crime in Sahovici, which lies on the Bosnian-Serbian-Montenegrin border.
Former Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric meanwhile urged the Montenegrin government to admit that the Sehovici massacre represented genocide against Muslims in Montenegro.
Ceric told the commemoration that Bosniaks had suffered badly in the last century, from the massacre in Sehovoci to the genocide in Srebrenica.
“The descendants of the victims of the Sahovici massacre have gathered to remember their loved ones and to learn one of the most important lessons for their present and future – that the first and most important requirement for the salvation and survival of Bosniaks in the Balkans was and remains a visionary spirit and courageous political leadership,” he said.
No Muslim families currently live in the village. According to records from the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, there were more than 1,500 Muslim households and about 500 Orthodox families in Sahovici in 1924.
After World War II, Sahovici was renamed Tomasevo in honour of Communist commander Tomas Zizic.
Bosniaks now make up 8.6 per cent of the population of Montenegro. An additional 3.3 per cent identify themselves as Muslims.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)