THE AGGRESSOR PREVENTS THE PARLIAMENT MEMBERS FROM COMING TO THE PARLIAMENT// 03. 1993. • MIRO LAZOVIC// BH PARLIAMENT
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT
The BH Parliament
THE AGGRESSOR PREVENTS THE PARLIAMENT MEMBERS FROM COMING TO THE PARLIAMENT
‘In the first days of the war, at the beginning of 1992. The Parliament transferred its powers to the BH Presidency. Nevertheless, during the 1993. We tried to get the Parliament to start functioning again. And through various channels, because that was the only possible way during the war, we sent out a call to the members of the Parliament for them to attend the first wartime session of the BH Parliament in Sarajevo. The call was announced publicly, but there were also public threats from Pale. They said that they would prevent the members of the BH Parliament from entering the city, that they would not allow them to arrive unharmed. As parliamentary president, I did not want to take the risk and insist that the representatives come to Sarajevo at all costs. We decided to hold a session of Parliament in two cities. One session was held in Sarajevo between the members who were able the come safely to Sarajevo or who lived there at that time. The other session was held in Zenica.’
• New York, March 1, 1993. Peace negotiations resume in New York. The participants include the respresentative of the Bosnian Serbs, Radovan Karadzic, the representative of the Bosnian Croats, Mate Boban, and the representative of the BH delegation, Alija Izetbegovic. The peace conference is presided over by Cyrus Vance and Lord Robert Owen.
• The Public Prosecutor’s Office launches an initiative to extradite Radovan Karadzic to the BiH judiciary.
• The President of the Presidency of BiH, Alija Izetbegovic, in New York gives his signature to the second part of the Vance-Owen peace plan.
• Japan sends cans of tuna as humanitarian aid worth a total of $5,800,000 – the most nutritionally valuable food received yet.
• In Sarajevo an association is founded for cooperation between Bosnia and Austria. Alois Mock sends a telegram of support.
• A description of events on the airport runway: The nickname for the guide across the runway is “Rabbit.” The runway became a corridor for smuggling and carrying in food in backpacks into the city. Runners wore suits made of white bedsheets so that UNPROFOR couldn’t see them when they shined reflectors. Smugglers broke eggs and poured them through a funnel into a canister so they could carry them across the runway.
• A European edition of “Oslobodjenje” is released.
• Renewed work by the Serb humanitarian society “Dobrotvor”.
• Bosnian Serbs prevent the arrival of representatives of the Republican assembly to the city.
• “Adra”, an Adventist humanitarian society is the best connection for carrying personal packages into the city.
• Amid the humanitarian crisis in Srebrenica, French general Morillon remains with the inhabitants of Srebrenica until the humanitarian convoy whose passage was prevented by the Bosnian Serb troops has entered the town.
• A rock concert in Sarajevo is held, “Help Bosnia Now!”
• The International Center for Peace invites mayors of cities across the world to protest the division of the city.
• In the city, wall advertisements allow citizens to learn about the supply and demand for goods of all kinds.
• 85% of the BH economy is destroyed.
• In New York, the BH delegation suspends negotiations while the Bosnian Serb attacks on Srebrenica and Sarajevo last. New York, March 19, 1993. In New York, President Izetbegovic halts peace negotiations. He informs the co-chairs of the peace conference, Vance and Owen, that he cannot continue the peace negotiations while Serb aggression against Srebrenica intensifies and their fierce attack on Sarajevo continues.
• In Sarajevo, the trial against Bosnian Serb Borislav Herak for crimes against humanity. The presiding judge is Fahrudin Teftedarija.
• In Kamerni teatar 55, safe from shelling, a concert is held - “The Most Beautiful Melodies in the World”.
• Spring arrives earlier than usual: on March 20th, at 3:42pm.
• French general Morillon, UNPROFOR commander, becomes an honorary citizen of Srebrenica. On that occasion he announces: “I feel like a king, the people worship me.”
• Humanitarian aid arrives in Srebrenica. The citizens of Srebrenica stampede toward air dropped humanitarian aid. Many are killed, suffocated or trampled.
• NATO estabslishes control over the Adriatic Sea.
• Heavy artillery attacks on the city.
• The Children’s Embassy awards their mascot, ”Zlatni cupko” to General Morillon.
• The USA will participate in maintaining peace if the warring sides agree to a peace process.
• NATO will send 60,000 soldiers if a peace agreement is reached.
• New York, March 26, 1993. Negotiations on BiH are completed in New York. The President of the Presidency of BiH, Alija Izetbegovic, signs documents and maps as well as an interim resolution for the Republic of BiH, the Vance-Owen peace plan. The interim solution is also signed by the leader of Bosnian Croats, Mate Boban. Radovan Karadzic refuses to sign either agreement.
• The President of the Presidency of BiH, Alija Izetbegovic, accepts the Vance-Owen plan. President Bill Clinton congratulations him on this prudent move.
• A ceasefire is declared. It begins at twelve o’clock.
• Kamerni teatar 55 holds a “Prayer for Peace”.
• The Bosnian Serbs oppose German participation in Operation “Parachute” to deliver humanitarian aid.
• The Bosnian Serbs are given a deadline of 10-15 days to sign a peace agreement. Russia applies diplomatic pressure on them. Alija Izetbegovic announces: “The plan is bad, but the best for ending the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
• The Serb Cultural Society “Prosvjeta” renews its work in Sarajevo.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliament and Government building was hit by hundreds of shells which caused frequent fires. This is where the attack on the city began on April 6, 1992, when the SDS snipers opened fire on the 100,000 citizens who had gathered in front of the Parliament building protesting against the national divisions and war. The event was transmitted and shown all over former Yugoslavia and according to many it represented the funeral of Parliament used to come to Sarajevo sessions either by running across the airport runway or by crawling through the tunnel under the runway.