IN MEMORIAM: GENERAL RASIM DELIC
General Rasim Delic, who honorably commanded the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (ARBiH) during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, has died of cancer at his home in Visoko. During his trial at the Hague, he was found guilty only for one charge for failure to prevent or punish the cruel treatment of twelve captured Serb soldiers (Chetniks) in the village of Livade and in the Kamenica camp (3 incidents between 1993 and 1995) and he was found not guilty for other accounts. This relatively small crime was committed by the El Mujahedin detachment of a small group of Islamic volunteers who rightfully came to Central Bosnia to help Bosniaks defend themselves. General Delic was awaiting a court ruling on his appeal, which would unquestionably acquit him of any responsibility, just as it happened with Naser Oric - but he unfortunately passed away. The trial chamber decisions are more 'liberal' than final appellate decisions. It is unfortunate that he died before the appellate decision was issued and his full acquittal confirmed.
PHOTO: War-time Chief of Staff of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (undated photo).
The ICTY Appeals Chamber in Kubura and Hadzihasanovic case, for example, noted that the relationship between the 3rd Corps of the Bosnian Army headed by Hadzihasanovic and the El Mujahed units was not one of subordination but was instead close to overt hostility since the only way to control the detachment was to attack them as if they were a distinct enemy force. It is, therefore, regrettable that General Delic could not live to see his full acquittal by the upcoming appellate judgement.
According to Federal Television, the Hague Tribunal has expressed regret over his death and decision on the future proceedings of his appeal will be announced as soon as possible. It is unsure whether the appellate judgment will be issued since he passed away.
Rasim Delic's janazah (funeral) is scheduled to start on Monday, April 19th, at 13:00 hours and his body will be carried from Federal Armed Forces Home to Kovaci cemetery in Sarajevo. It is anticipated that thousands of people will attend the final farewell to one of the greatest military heroes of the Bosnian war.
Now, we will show you how Rasim Delic's soldiers captured 75 Serb soldiers (Chetniks) on Majevica mountain in 1994. Instead of killing them on the spot, Bosniak soldiers gave them the food and they repeatedly told them "don't worry, you're safe, you have nothing to be afraid of." Then, they handed the Serb soldiers over to the Red Cross, so Chetniks - who shelled Tuzla from Majevica - could be re-united with their families. Will Chetniks remember Rasim Delic and come to his funeral to show their respect and thank him for saving their lives and respecting Geneva Convention? We doubt it. But, nevertheless, here is the video:
In this part, the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (ARBiH) called upon the Serb soldiers to give up their arms and surrender on Majevica mountain in 1994. You can see Chetniks slowly surrendering after 17 days of being surrounded by our forces. They were unshaven, hungry, scared and exhausted. One by one, all 75 of them surrendered and gave up their arms after suffering heavy loses in the battle. In this video, all Serb prisoners were repeatedly guaranteed safety and none of them was harmed. I am very proud of our forces treating Serb prisoners humanely during Lisaca battle. Watch carefully:
In this video, you can see Chetnik commander 'Slavko' captured and visibly shaken. However, instead of killing him, our soldiers guaranteed his safety. In fact, throughout this footage, our soldiers can be seen endlesly re-assuring captured Chetniks they have nothing to be afraid of and that they would not be harmed. ARBiH soldiers managed to contact the Red Cross over a handheld radio relay, for the purpose of arranging a safe handover of captured Serb soldiers. All of them survived unharmed. As you can see in this video, Chetniks looked terrified because they wilingly participated in the massacres against the Bosnian Muslim civilians, including the children, who died as a result of constant Serb artillery attacks on Tuzla from Majevica mountain. Regardless, our forces under the command of Rasim Delic treated Chetniks humanely because he ordered them to respect the Geneva Convention.
More Chetniks surrendered and our soldiers entered their trenches, collected whatever weapons they could find. One Serb soldier gave away his military handheld radio used by soldiers to communicate during battles. It is regrettable that some of these prisoners felt scared, but the good thing is that captured Serb soldiers were not tortured or harmed during their brief captivity. All prisoners of war should always be treated with respect and we're proud of General Rasim Delic for treating worst of the worst humanely.
Part IV: Gen. Rasim Delic on Lisaca
In this video, you can see Gen. Rasim Delic on Majevica mountain where Lisaca battle took place. He expressed his gratitude to the Bosniak soldiers for treating Serb prisoners humanely, and he said he was glad Serbs won't be able to deliberately shell Tuzla from this location anylonger. "We can finally see Tuzla from here" he added. Delic also said that "we have been endlessly proving to the blind and to the deaf that we respect all international conventions that deal with the humane treatment of all prisoners... and we have to continue to respect these conventions, because we fight for democratic values and for people who will remain to live in this country. We have moral values, and honor which we don't want to give up for anything, and we will continue to fight honorably. But, we also call upon the international community to fulfill its obligations [with respect to lifting an arms embargo]." Here is a rare video of General Delic on Lisaca commenting on the successful battle: