Cancari Road 7 (also known as Kamenica 7) is a secondary mass grave, located in the village of Kamenica, 50 kilometres from the town of Srebrenica and some 13 kilometres from the city of Zvornik. There are 13 secondary mass graves in the Kamenica area containing the remains of victims of the July 1995 Srebrenica massacres.
The Cancari Road 7 gravesite was exhumed in October 2002 by the Bosnian Federal Commission on Missing Persons, monitored bу the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY. The remains of 200 individuals were found; 97 were identified.
DNA analysis showed connections between this secondary gravesite and the disturbed primary gravesite at Kozluk. According to the ICTY’s forensic report on Srebrenica-related exhumations, this means that parts of the remains of some individuals were found at both the Kozluk and Cancari Road 7 sites. The ICTY’s investigation also showed DNA connections between this site and four more gravesites in the Kamenica area (Cancari Road 1, 2, 3 and 13). This indicates that remains that were dug up from the primary mass grave in Kozluk were transported to these secondary Cancari Road sites in Kamenica, 30 kilometres away.
The gravesites in Kamenica were discovered either in the yards of houses which belonged to Bosniaks, or in meadows next to the road. Cancari Road 7 is located in one of these yards, next to a crossroads and the local mosque. The site is marked with a memorial plaque dedicated to the victims of Srebrenica. Locals in Kamenica have marked several of the gravesites in the area with memorial plaques honouring Srebrenica victims, although some still remain unmarked.
According to the ICTY’s report on forensic evidence and DNA connections, the Kozluk primary mass grave, where some of the Srebrenica massacre victims were buried, contained a total of 825 individuals.
The ICTY judgment in the trial of Dragan Jokic, Chief of Engineering for the Zvornik Brigade, and Vidoje Blagojevic, commander of the Bratunac Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, said that on or about July 15 or 16, 1995, Bosnian Serb Army military personnel, under the command and control of commanders Ratko Mladic, Radislav Krstic and others, transported approximately 500 Bosniak males to an isolated place near Kozluk, which was inside the Zvornik Brigade’s zone of responsibility. They were then executed by Bosnian Serb military personnel. On or about July 16, 1995, military personnel from the Zvornik Brigade’s Engineering Company, again controlled by Mladic, Krstic and others, buried the victims in a mass grave at the site. Jokic assisted in the planning, monitoring, organising and carrying out of the burials.
Blagojevic was sentenced to 15 years in prison for aiding and abetting the murder and persecution of Bosniaks, including those executed at Kozluk. Jokic was sentenced to nine years in prison for the murders of Bosniaks at locations including Kozluk, and for providing engineering resources and personnel to dig graves for the victims.
The ICTY’s trial chamber also found that Vujadin Popovic, chief of security with the Bosnian Serb Army’s Drina Corps, knew about the operation to kill the Bosniaks, and organised it with Ljubisa Beara, chief of security with the Bosnian Serb Army’s main headquarters, and Drago Nikolic, a security officer with the Bosnian Serb Army’s Zvornik Brigade. Popovic was present when the executions were carried out at Kozluk, as well as at another killing site in Orahovac. Popovic, Beara and Nikolic were all convicted by the ICTY of involvement in the genocide of Bosniaks from Srebrenica.
Srecko Acimovic, commander of the Bosnian Serb Army Zvornik Brigade’s Second Battalion, acting on orders received from the Zvornik Brigade’s command, provided ammunition and issued an order to transport the prisoners to the banks of the Drina River in Kozluk, where they were killed and buried. Acimovic was sentenced by the Bosnian state court to nine years in prison for assisting the genocide.
So far, the ICTY and domestic courts in the Balkans have sentenced a total of 47 people to more than 700 years in prison, plus five life sentences, for Srebrenica crimes.