Minister of Labour, War Veterans and Disabled Persons’ Protection, Petar Đokić, attended the memorial service and wreath-laying ceremony at the New Cemetery in Banja Luka and laid flowers at the monument in the centre of Banja Luka in memory of the death 19 years ago of 12 babies in the Banja Luka Clinical Centre due to lack of oxygen.
Đokić said that Srpska has an obligation to and must remember this serious crime and brutal injustice committed against newly born babies nineteen years ago.
“We must not forget what happened and we must preserve the truth in the peoples’ memories about this horrible event and of how evil and ruthless some persons can be when managing this and other areas from a great distance,” reminded Đokić.
Minister Djokić said he was referring to those who prevented an operation be carried out to save 12 newborns in Banja Luka, either by evacuating the babies or by supplying the indispensable oxygen for them to stay alive.
“This is why the Republic of Srpska reacted decisively and established the ‘Corridor of Life’, to prevent such cruel and tragic events from ever happening again,” Djokić stressed.
During the patriotic war, twelve newborns died in May 1992 due to lack of oxygen required for their treatment at the Banja Luka Maternity Intensive Care Unit.
The lack of oxygen occurred because Serb territories were blocked by Croat and Muslim military forces.
At the time, Croat and Muslim forces held the “Posavina Corridor”, the corridor linking the Bosnian Krajina region with Serbia, under blockade. This made it impossible to bring the required oxygen to Banja Luka by land.
The only possible way to transport the oxygen was by air, but since the Security Council had established a no-fly zone over BiH, the airplane bringing the oxygen from Belgrade was not allowed to make the flight.