1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Mass graves

May 10, 2010

Serbian authorities have uncovered another mass grave believed to contain the remains of some 250 ethnic Albanians killed during the 1998-99 conflict in the country's breakaway province of Kosovo.

Map of former Yugoslavia with Serbia and Kosovo
Mass graves of Kosovars are scattered across SerbiaImage: DW

Serbia's war crimes prosecution office and the European Union's law enforcement and police mission in Kosovo (EULEX) jointly discovered the mass grave of Kosovo Albanians in a quarry pond outside the southwestern Serbian town of Raska.

The site, near the Kosovo border, was "more proof that Serbia does not shy away from its dark past and is ready to bring to justice all those who have committed crimes," said prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic.

During the two-year conflict, Serb forces controlled by former strongman Slobodan Milosevic transported the remains of hundreds of ethnic Albanian civilians to several locations in Serbia in a bid to cover up mass killings and war crimes.

In 2001, the remains of more than 830 Kosovo Albanians were found at three sites in Serbia. Over 700 bodies have since been uncovered in a mass grave located in a suburb of the capital, Belgrade. Dozens more were found in the towns of Petrovo Selo and Perucac.

The exhumation of bodies from the Raska site is expected to begin soon when an evaluation of the crime scene is completed.

A former top police official and Serbian deputy interior minister during the Kosovo conflict, Vlastimir Djordjevic, is believed to have ordered the vast cover-up. Djordjevic is currently standing trial at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Editor: Nancy Isenson