UNHCR urges authorities to track down killers of Bosniak returnee
GENEVA - The U.N. refugee agency today urged authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to track down the murderer of a 16-year-old Bosniak returnee.
Meliha Duric was killed inside her house by a single shot fired from the outside by an unknown assailant early Thursday at the village of Damdzici near Vlasenica in Republika Srpska - one of Bosnia's two constituent entities. The incident happened just four months after the Duric family returned to Damdzici.
Spokesman Kris Janowski said UNHCR was "outraged" by the killing - the second attack on a Bosniak returnee in the area. On May 14, another Bosniak returnee was wounded by a gunshot fired under similar circumstances in the same village. No arrests were made after that attack.
Janowski said UNHCR believes that the lack of a robust effort to find and to punish the perpetrator of the first attack might have encouraged the second one. "The attack illustrates the dangers Bosnians still face in returning to their homes nearly six years after the war ended," he said.
Nearly 230,000 people have gone back to live among their former enemies since the Dayton peace agreement put an end to fighting in Bosnia in the fall of 1995. Most of them have returned to the Federation, but an estimated 60,000 non-Serbs have also gone back to Republika Srpska.