THE WOUNDED ARE WAITING TO LEAVE THE CITY// 11. 1992. • ARIF SMAJKIC// PROFESSOR AT THE MEDICAL SCHOOL
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT
Professor at the Medical School
THE WOUNDED ARE WAITING TO LEAVE THE CITY
‘On November 17, 1992 when the siege and shelling in Sarajevo were at their height, we had 53 children ready to get out with a definite indication for outside treatment. Meaning in hospitals that were equipped for that. To treat those children and very likely make them completely fit again. But they didn’t get transported. At that time, there were several seats available in almost all of the planes, some of them belonging to humanitarian aid organizations, some being official UNPROFOR planes. I insisted on giving those seats to those patients, meaning the youngest patients, who were absolutely innocent victims, civilian victims of this war. That never happened. Mostly they just neglected and postponed it.’
• In order for Sarajevans to join organized convoys that after a long delay have begun to leave the city, one needs to receive consent from the Sarajevo police, UN approval and consent from the Bosnian Serbs.
• Stjepan Kljujic, the BiH Presidency’s Croat member is forced to resign at the request of the HDZ, in favor of Miro Lasic, their new candidate.
• Sefer Halilovic, commander of the BiH Armed Forces, prohibits the departure of the convoy, but Pero Butigan, director of the Red Cross, insists that they are required to transport citizens. In the end, both convoys, one headed for Split and the other for Belgrade, manage to leave.
• Director Paul Masic makes the animated film "Coffee".
• "Sipad holding,” a factory for processing wood and producing furniture, possesses stores of wood that could be used for heating, but the question remains how it can be brought into Sarajevo. Wood shipments are stalled in Fojnica, Tarcin, Konjic ... all cities surrounding Sarajevo.
• Geneva, November 7th, 1992. In Geneva, during a conference on Bosnia, Radovan Karadzic, says that due to pressure from the international community for now he will abandon the request for a separate state, but he still holds requirements for great autonomy and the division of BiH into five areas. Haris Silajdzic demands the opening of a road corridor from Ploce - Mostar - Sarajevo
• A convoy of Sarajevo Slovenes, organized by the Association of Slovenes and the Slovenian government, leaves Sarajevo for Slovenia.
• UNPROFOR and the utility company 'Rad' undertake cleaning and the removal of a huge number of damaged vehicles from the street.
• The wounded wait to leave the city.
• A Hollywood team visits the editorial office of "Oslobodjenje," which operates in the basements of their completely destroyed headquarters situated on the front line of the city
• UNPROFOR receives a decision of the UN from Geneva stating that the official political and economic delegations from Sarajevo can use transport aircraft used to deliver humanitarian aid.
• The UNHCR advises Sarajevans to eat packed lunches from humanitarian aid every 6-7 days.
• The Post Office reconnects 30,000 phone lines just for priority cases, and only for local communication, as the connections to outside countries have been cut.
• The District Military Prosecutor's Office conducts an investigation of former UNPROFOR commander Louis Mackenzie
• In the city, banks are being established.
In Spring 1992 the public-health service in the Old Town was shelled. In May 1992 the State Hospital was intensively shelled and it was hit by more than 200 shells during the siege. The victims were patients. The Kosevo clinic suffered the same fate. Its operating theaters and intensive care units were hit. The hospitals were usually shelled with plated shells which would pass through several rooms The patients were often evacuated and the surgeons frequently performed operations without electricity or water, using candles and five-liter canisters. Hundreds of citizens were admitted to hospitals each day.