The Koricani Cliffs on Mount Vlasic in central Bosnia and Herzegovina were both a site for killings and a clandestine gravesite used by Bosnian Serb forces during the war in 1992. The remains of 177 people, mostly Bosniaks and Croats, have been identified in four exhumations carried out between 2003 and 2017.
The cliffs, above a ravine 300 to 400 metres deep, lie on the road between the towns of Travnik and Prijedor in territory considered to be a key stronghold of the Bosnian Serb Army for much of the war.
Since the war, there have been several attempts to mark the location of the mass grave by families of the victims, but plaques have always subsequently been removed. Each year, families commemorate the dead by throwing roses into the ravine.
On August 21, 1992, a large group of civilian detainees from the Trnopolje prison camp were being transported by Bosnian Serb forces to Bosnian government-controlled territory in Travnik. As the convoy reached Mount Vlasic, about 200 unarmed men were taken out and executed. Only 12 of them survived.
As the ravine is so deep, the terrain was extremely difficult for investigators to exhume the bodies, and only partial remains of many victims were found.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia convicted Darko Mrdja, a member of the so-called intervention squad, a Bosnian Serb special police unit in the town of Prijedor, of directly participating in the unloading, guarding, escorting and shooting of the unarmed men at Koricani Cliffs. Mrdja pleaded guilty and apologised to the victims.
Domestic courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina also prosecuted several cases linked with the killings at Koricani and convicted police officers Marinko Ljepoja, Radoslav Knezevic, Zoran Babic, Milorad Skrbic, Dusan Jankovic, Zeljko Stojnic and Sasa Zecevic.
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.