Croatian and Muslim armed forces blocked the “Posavski corridor” that connected Bosanska Krajina and Serbia. The corridor cut off Banja Luka from Serbia. Because of this, it was not possible to supply Banja Luka with oxygen by land. Only the air supply remained as an option, but it wasn’t possible either because of a flight ban over Bosnia and Herzegovina, imposed by the United Nations Security Council. An airplane intended to fly from Belgrade to Banja Luka with oxygen supplies did not get clearance.
Numerous pleas for help were sent via radio, television, Voice of Srpska, and other newspapers, but although UNICEF and representatives of other international humanitarian organizations were familiar with the problem, the plane with oxygen had to wait for several days for the clearance to arrive, which never did. Shortly afterwards, 12 newborns died from hypoxia at the Banja Luka hospital. Even though the doctors tried to use “industrial oxygen” supplied by the Army of Republika Srpska and several contractors and citizens, it was not enough to save the babies.
Slađana Kobas; born on June 18, 1992 was the only baby that survived from May 22 to June 19, 1992. Because of the lack of oxygen, she had permanent eye, brain and lung damage, and later suffered from bone cancer. She died on February 9, 2006. aged 13. She was buried on February 11, 2006. in Prijedor.
Marko Medaković; born on June 21, 1992. After birth he was hypoxic for around 10 minutes, which caused the loss of the two thirds of his lungs, cerebral palsy, brain hematoma, and spine injury. Snježana Brezo made a documentary about him, which is to be screened on the Berlin International Film Festival.
This event granted great morality boost and led to the Operation Corridor which started June 14 1992 in which my father participated, operation started just 7 days after the last baby died and resulted in a great success connecting East and West part of the Republica Srpska.
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