“There are places in Bosnia in which you can’t come by accident. You come with an intention to come, or you don’t come at all.”
Picturesque village Dunići between mountains Vlašić and Čemernica is one of those. Even though this village is isolated, they had to go through hard times between 1992-1995. People from this village were forced to dig trenches for the Army of Republika Srpska. “There were 25 of us. We had to dig trenches. We couldn’t take guns, we did everything we had to from 7 am until 10 pm.” - says 60 year old Jusuf.
He also says that there were many robberies in the village and that they never found out who did those. “Who knows who those people were. They took our cattle, gold, money, if someone had it in their homes.” - continues Jusuf.
“Cattle that couldn’t go down hill… They killed it all. They stole 400 sheep in one single day.” Jusuf remembers. He was wounded in war. While showing the scar on his leg, he says: “One woman was killed here during the war. Luckily, there were no other victims.”
Locals don’t like to talk about those who made this attack. It wasn’t a regular army but a group of people with weapons.
“Who attacked? Our neighbours from the other villages attacked too.” - says Elvir.
These years have passed but locals still face problems. If one of them gets sick, it is very hard to reach a doctor. The nearest ambulance is in Šipraga, a place 15 km from Dunići, but the road to it is not good for vehicles so the easiest way to reach it is to walk. The doctor visits village once a week. “There is only stone here. Nothing can stay here, even plague.” - says Arif Dunić, refering to the legend about this place.
According to this legend, this village was founded by few families who were running away from plague. When they reached this place, they thought they were safe and that they should settle there. Arif Dunić is 61 years old, and he spent the most of his life in this village. He says how only last name in village is “Dunić”, and that’s how it got the name.
“What should I tell you? No one comes here and nobody is interested in us. You came today and who knows when someone else will.” - says Arif when asked about life in the village.
Jusuf Dunić says how there are no pensioners in their village. “There were before, but they died. Old people who live now don’t have pensions” - he says and adds how he did physical work for 13 years but it was not enough to get pension.
Jusuf remembers how before aggression, there were 122 people in the village and around 22 families. All of them had the same last name - Dunić. Today there are only 28 people in the village. “The most of people moved out. They left to Skender Vakuf, Travnik, Sanski Most. And we stayed here.” - he says.
Emina Dunić, 70-year old woman and one of the oldest people in the village says: “I have 15 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren”. She has five sons but only one stayed in the village. “I live with my daughter in law, my son and their two children.”
Emina isn’t from Dunići, she is from village Stopan and she married when she was 15. “Houses are empty today. Before there used to be 15 people in one house. Now there are two or three.” She says how people from the other villages near Dunići used to come there during Đuređvdan. “That was a holiday for us. People from different villages would come and we would sing and eat and drink the whole day.” She says how young women and men would meet on those gatherings, start relationships and marriages. “After the war, there is nothing left.”
There are only three children in the village. The oldest one is Amina, she is 7 and she is in 2nd class of elementary school. “When I go to school I stay at my aunt’s place in Šiprage. I miss my mom and dad and I miss my home.” She says how she likes school but that she misses her younger sister. “I have lots of friends but it would be better if my sister was there with me.” She says and continues playing with her sister who is five years old. Their younger brother Emir is very shy, so he refused to talk.
There are a few young people in Dunići too. One of them is Nesib Dunić, who is 23, finished high school and then came back to his place. “I help my father in forest and with animals. We sell animals and we live from that. When someone buys milk or cheese we wait long for them to pay so it isn’t very beneficial. 38 years old Ibrahim is also one of those who decided to stay. He lives with his father, "It is very hard to find a woman who would agree to live here. He lives by working in forest, he adds that he knows that finding a job in cities and towns is hard to but that he wished that country helped people in villages more. Elvir Dunić, aged 35 is also unmarried. Out of 28 residents, 15 of them are unmarried men. "No girl wants to come here. And why would she? You see, it is very poor now. Before this village used to be rich and famous, today everyone forgot about it.” - says Elvir.