Jakarina Kosa is a secondary mass grave, located in the Ljubija iron ore mining complex, 18 kilometres from the city of Prijedor. Also located within the Ljubija complex are the Tomasica mine, where one of the largest primary mass graves in the country was discovered, and the Omarska mine, where a detention camp was set up by Bosnian Serb authorities at the beginning of the war.
Exhumations at the Jakarina Kosa site were first carried out in 2001, when more than 300 body parts were exhumed. In July 2015, there was a second exhumation, and more than 600 body parts were discovered. In total, remains belonging to 311 individuals have been identified at the Jakarina Kosa gravesite.
Expert reports by the International Committee on Missing Persons based on DNA analysis showed that remains from the same individuals were found at both Tomasica and Jakarina Kosa.
The remains from Tomasica and Jakarina Kosa were identified as those of Bosniaks and Croats from the town of Kozarac, the city of Prijedor and the villages of Biscani, Hambarine, Rizvanovici, Rakovcani, Carakovo and Zecovi, as well as those of detainees held at the Omarska and Keraterm detention camps in the Prijedor area. The bodies found at Jakarina Kosa were wearing civilian clothing.
The gravesite at Jakarina Kosa is located around five kilometres down a road from the main building at the former Ljubija mine. It is not easily reachable, as the road is unpaved and full of potholes and the gravesite is located deep inside a pit. It remains unmarked.
The primary mass grave at Tomasica was partly dug up by the Bosnian Serb Army and the local police in 1993 and a large number of bodies were taken away and reburied at Jakarina Kosa, 37 kilometres away, as part of an attempted cover-up of the killings.
According to the Missing Persons Institute, the process of transportation of the bodies lasted for two weeks at last. Locals around the Jakarina Kosa site were ordered to evacuate during this period so that they could not be witnesses to what was happening.
The transportation of the bodies from Tomasica to Jakarina Kosa was well-organised and was carried out at night. The incompletely decomposed body parts that were loaded onto trucks left traces of bodily fluids on the streets, and water tanks were provided to clean up the streets and the trucks after the loads were transported. The remains were unloaded from the trucks into the pit at Jakarina Kosa and then mined in order to close up the pit and prevent further access to the site.
Prijedor is the area with the largest number of convicted war criminals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A total of 37 Bosnian Serbs have been found guilty of committing crimes in the area and have been sentenced to a total of 617 years in prison. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia gave Milomir Stakic, wartime president of the Serb-controlled Prijedor municipality Crisis Staff, the highest sentence for crimes in Prijedor – 40 years in prison.