11,541 άδειες καρέκλες, παρατεταγμένες στη λεωφόρο Τίτοβα στο κέντρο του Σεράγεβο…
Μπουκέτα απο λουλούδια σε μερικές απο αυτές….
Θλιβερές αναμνήσεις χαρακώνουν τα πρόσωπα των παρευρισκομένων
Μια πόλη θρηνεί με αυτόν τον ιδιαίτερο τρόπο τους ανθρώπους που σκοτώθηκαν
στον πόλεμο της Βοσνίας, κατά την 44μηνη πολιορκία της πόλης απο τους Σέρβους.
Εκατοντάδες μικρές, επίσης κόκκινες καρέκλες, συμβολίζουν το σφαγιασμό των μικρών παιδιών.
Είκοσι χρόνια έχουν περάσει απο το αιματηρό ξέσπασμα, στις 6 Απριλίου του 1992,
που έκοψε το νήμα της ζωής σε πάνω απο 100.000 ανθρώπους,
άφησε εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες άστεγους και οδήγησε χιλιάδες στη μετανάστευση,
την απόγνωση, την πείνα και την εξαθλίωση.
Ακόμη ένας παράλογος πόλεμος σκοπιμοτήτων και συμφερόντων
Αυτοί που όπλισαν τα χέρια των λαών, αναζοπύρωσαν τα μίση και τα πάθη,
και πούλησαν φθηνά οράματα, τώρα σιωπούν…
Η ´κόκκινη γραμμή του Σεράγεβο´ σημαδεύει τη μνήμη μας
και μακάρι να αποτελέσει μια…αδιαπέραστη γραμμή στο μέλλον.
Τη γραμμή που ενώνει όλους τους ανθρώπους
Empty chairs were laid out in Sarajevo today in honour of the 11,541 people
killed in the city during the Bosnian war which began exactly 20 years ago.
The seats – lined up along the city’s main street – were left empty in memory
of the victims of the 44-month Serb siege of the city.
Hundreds of the chairs are small representing the children slain in the conflict.
Bosnia remembers: 11,541 red chairs are pictured along Titova street in Sarajevo
as the city marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the Bosnian war, April 6, 2012
A city in grief: The chairs are arranged in 825 rows and look like a red river running through the city.
Special small chairs have been laid out for the children who died in the conflict
Exhibitions, concerts and performances are being held across the city today
two decades after the conflict began on April 6, 1992.
‘This city needs to stop for a moment and pay tribute to its killed citizens,’
said Haris Pasovic, organizer of the ‘Sarajevo Red Line.’
Its 380,000 people were left without electricity, water or heat,
hiding from the 330 shells a day that smashed into the city.
Exactly 20 years ago today some 40,000 people from all over the country
– Muslim Bosniaks, Christian Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats -
poured into the square to demand peace from their quarreling nationalist politicians.
Grieving for the dead:
Bouquets of flowers are laid out on some of the chairs in the centre of Sarajevo
today – 20 years after the start of a 44-month siege
City united: Exhibitions, concerts and performances are being held across the city
today two decades after the conflict began on April 6, 1992
Destruction: The frontline in Bosnia was here on the mountain Trebevic.
Bosnian Serb forces fired shells from this position (file photo)
The European Community had recognised the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia
as an independent state after most of its people voted for independence.
But the people voted along ethnic lines, with Bosniaks and Croats
voting for independence, and Bosnian Serbs
preferring to stay with Serb-dominated Yugoslavia.
The ethnic unity being displayed on the Sarajevo square irritated Serb nationalists,
who then shot into the crowd from a nearby hotel,
killing five people and igniting the 1992-1995 war.
The Serb nationalists, helped by neighboring Serbia, laid siege to Sarajevo
and within a few months occupied 70 percent of Bosnia,
expelling all non-Serbs from territory they controlled.
Meanwhile Bosniaks and Croats – who started off as allies – turned against each other,
so all three groups ended up fighting a war that took over 100,000 lives,
made half of the population homeless and left the once-ethnically
mixed country devastated and divided into mono-ethnic enclaves.
Grim: A young boy peers through the snow covered windshield as he’s grandfather
tries to start their car that stopped on the infamous sniper alley in Sarajevo on November 18, 1995
Civil war: A man walks on the so-called ‘sniper alley’ in Sarajevo
after buying a can of oil donated by the European Community
A 1995 peace agreement brokered by the United States ended the shooting
but its compromises left the nation ethnically divided into two ministates – one for Serbs,
the other shared by Bosniaks and Croats – linked by a central government.
The result is a bureaucratic monstrosity: Bosnia has three rotating presidents
at the state level and each ministate has its own
president – that’s five presidents in all.
There are 13 prime ministers in total, over 130 ministers,
more than 760 lawmakers and 148 municipalities.
Not only does this cost the impoverished nation of 3.5 million
over 50 percent of its annual GDP but it leads to
endless bickering between institutions.
Brussels insists Bosnia must be more centralised but that goes
against Serbs’ desire to maintain their autonomy.
Bogdan Vukadin was one of those Serb soldiers firing from the
mountains on Sarajevo during the war.
‘We did not fight this war for nothing,’ he says.
‘We have our Serb Republic, we have our government,
we have our president, we have our own institutions.’
Ethnic mistrust or economic differences between the mini-states
are keeping the groups in Bosnia separated.
A sign ‘for sale’ is placed onto a war damaged house in an abandoned
village by the main road near the town of Derventa March 27, 2007
Children in school are learning three different version of history,
calling their common language by three different names – Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian -
and are growing isolated from each other in monoethnic enclaves.
Foreign investors – the only hope for the country’s economy – are avoiding Bosnia
for its political instability and its enormous bureaucracy.
The pressure to join the EU has united some of the country’s institutions.
Bosnia now has a common currency, a central bank, its two ministate police forces
are run by a joint ministry.
There is a state court, border police on state level and even a joint army
– melded from the three that once fought each other.
Now those same soldiers from all three armies are united,
protesting together over a lack of retirement pay and jobs
in the same central Sarajevo square.
Dressed in old uniforms, exhausted and unshaved, Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats
sleep and eat at this doomed square, occasionally shouting up to
nearby government offices ‘Thieves, thieves!’
The former soldiers say they are here to defend Bosnia from lying politicians.
Many of them were only 17 in 1992 when the ethnically mixed crowd
gathered to demand peace but was cheated.
‘We will be here together till the end, demanding our rights,’
said Milomir Saric, a Bosnian Serb veteran.
Remembered: A Bosnian Muslim woman walks near a banner with the number 11,541, to symbolise red chairs,
along Titova street in Sarajevo as the city marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the Bosnian war