ONTD Political

Bosnia-Hercegovina marks 20th anniversary of war

5:45 pm - 04/06/2012

Ceremonies in Sarajevo are marking 20 years since the start of the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina, a conflict that saw the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

The conflict began in April 1992 as part of the break-up of Yugoslavia.

About 100,000 people were killed and nearly half the population forced from their homes in four years of fighting.

Red chairs fill the street in Sarajevo where the conflict began - 11,541, one for each victim in the city.

People have been placing white flowers on some of the chairs as they walk alongside them.

A teddy bear, toys and schoolbooks have been placed on some of the small chairs which symbolise children killed during the four-year long siege by Serb forces.

Sarajevans were asked to stop what they were doing at 12:00 GMT for an hour to mark the start of the conflict.

Many have been walking past the chairs, which stretch for 800m (half a mile) along the central street in Sarajevo named after the founder of Yugoslavia, Marshal Tito.

On a stage in front of the chairs, a choir with a small classical orchestra has been performing songs, many of them composed during the siege.

"Those people gave their lives for the freedom of this town. They loved this town. They were killed just because they were citizens of this town, because they were at their homes, at their schools, at their playgrounds," concert organiser Haris Pasovic is quoted as saying.

The Reuters news agency says the autonomous Serb area of the country is ignoring the anniversary of the start of the fighting.

For three years and eight months in the early 1990s, Sarajevo was a city under siege. The mainly Muslim population took cover, as Serb gunners barraged the city from the hills surrounding it.

The worst single atrocity during the war was at Srebrenica, in eastern Bosnia, in July 1995. Bosnian Serb forces, led by General Ratko Mladic, overran what should have been a UN safe haven. About 8,000 Muslim men and boys were taken away and killed.

As a result the UN changed the mandate for its mission and allowed force to be used.

But the war in Bosnia was a three-way mix, involving Serbs, Croats and Muslims.

The European Union's special representative to Bosnia, Peter Sorenson, says that during the war, trust and relations between people were simply destroyed. All of this, ­he says, can never be forgotten or "wiped away".

The BBC's Genc Lamani says that the aspirations for a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Bosnia have not yet become a reality. Many people in Bosnia believe the war was too high a price to pay for such hopes, our correspondent says.

belkisa 6th-Apr-2012 06:03 pm (UTC)
What's your tumblr? I'd like to see your posts about Bosnia :)

Yes, sadly the signs of war are still everywhere, but also lots of it has been rebuilt since then. The damaged houses can be rebuilt, but worst of all is that the people are damaged from the war and this can't be recovered. This wounds never heal. Whenever I'm in Bosnia war is still a big talking subject there. They can't forget (and should not forget). The war is over, but the things there haven't changed. Politics are a huge problem in Bosnia.

I hope you had a great time in Bosnia. I always enjoy it there. Bosnia is such a great place.
13chapters 6th-Apr-2012 06:08 pm (UTC)
I ~curate~ fuck yeah eastern europe.

Politics in Bosnia are absolutely dreadful. I have some tentative hope that now that they have a government things might improve a little but somehow I doubt it. IDK if there's even a way to reverse the dysfunction.
belkisa 6th-Apr-2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
It's a mess. Bosnia has 3 (!) rotating presidents, a Bosnian, a Croat and a Serb and all of them basically want what they wanted back in 1992. It's a dysfunctiunal system.
red_pill 6th-Apr-2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
good lord. thats...special. it sounds like(and proberbly is) the kind of thing done becous the old other soulstion is a second anther balklands war. "we can all take it in turns".

i wish i could get some handle on it. it was a bit befor my time (the first conflict i can remember at all is kosovo). ive tryed wiki, but...it dosent give me a feel for it. cant find any good books in bookshops either

sorry, ive rambled.
13chapters 7th-Apr-2012 04:37 am (UTC)
It's a super complicated conflict, so if you're interested in learning about it, I recommend reading at least a few books on the topic, so you can get a feel for the biases. A good start is The Death of Yugoslavia, by Misha Glenny. But even after I read a lot about it, I still found it confusing. So many names I didn't know how to pronounce, so many places I'd never heard of. It took going to the former Yugoslavia (I lived in Bulgaria for a couple years, which is right next to what used to be Yugoslavia, so I had the opportunity to travel all over the Balkans) and talking to a lot of people and THEN rereading some of the stuff I'd already read to really get what had happened.
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