GARDENS, THE ONLY SOURCE OF FOOD// 06. 1993. • SULEJMAN BEGOVIC// PENSIONER
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT
GARDENS, THE ONLY SOURCE OF FOOD
‘However, one day a nice woman named Semsa, came by and offered me part of her garden. It was about 30 or 40 square meters. I accepted it with enthusiasm. It’s true that Babica Basta is far away from Marijin Dvor, it meant risking death at any time, but out of my love for gardening and our need to survive, I accepted it. I planted everything in that little garden. And that saved us. We were sick of rice and macaroni. But when we finally had some greens, a leaf of cabbage on our plates, we were ecstatic. I even grew beans in that little garden. But in Sarajevo there wasn’t a single stick or pole on which to grow beans. But there was an antenna in the garden that had no function because there was no electricity during the war. So I took some rope and tied it to the antenna.’
• Massacre at a playing field in Dobrinja. 13 people are killed.
• Dobrica Cosic, President of the Yugoslav government, is relieved of duty.
• Moscow: BH Consul Ibrahim Djikic addresses Moscow’s biased behavior. He is contacted by the head of a Russian center for recruiting mercenaries, who promises to withdraw his men from BiH if the bodies of the three Russian mercenaries who had been killed in combat around Visegrad are retrieved.
• Mustafa Pamuk, of the City Assembly : “Many entrepreneurs have left with the intention of securing a means of getting food into the city; none of them have returned.”
• Viktor Jakovich becomes the first American ambassador to BiH.
• New York, June 5, 1993. The UN Security Council adopts a resolution on the creation of “Safe Areas.” According to this resolution, Sarajevo, Zepa, Bihac, Tuzla, Gorazde and Srebrenica are proclaimed secure areas. Members of UNPROFOR will be authorized to retaliate for any attacks on the “Safe Areas”; to monitor ceasefires; to encourage the withdrawal of military and paramilitary units; as well as to take hold of certain positions. With this resolution UNPROFOR is authorized to defend itself using any necessary measures, including the use of force, as well as to retaliate for the bombing of the “safe areas,” and any obstruction to its own freedom of movement and that of humanitarian convoys. UN members, in this case NATO members, are authorized, in cooperation with UNPROFOR and the Secretary General, to use air power to protect the “safe areas” and the mandate of UNPROFOR.
• Croats increase pressure on the Catholic Archbishop Vinko Puljic to leave Sarajevo.
• Rasim Delic appointed Commander of the ARBiH Main Staff, replacing Sefer Halilović, previous commander of the ARBiH. The head of MUP, Jusuf Pusina, is dismissed and replaced by Bakir Alispahic.
• Klaus Kinkel, German Foreign Minister: “Sanctions should be introduced against Croatia.”
• U.S. Marines enter Somalia, to prevent the spread of the conflict.
• In Geneva a joint session is held of the Presidency of BiH.
• To a question on possible military intervention in Bosnia, U.S. President Bill Clinton replies: “I can’t without allies, but I haven’t changed my mind.”
• The Bosnian Serb Army fires on people praying at a funeral. Eight people are killed at Budakovic cemetery. Mesihat: “It’s only possible to hold funerals at night.”
• Statement from Croatia: “Bosnian politicians must announce their arrivals to Croatia in advance. Visits of a private nature will not be allowed."
• Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic suggest a new map for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
• Geneva, June 18, 1993. Peace negotiations in Geneva: Alija Izetbegovic, President of the Presidency of BiH rejects the peace plan.
• Athletes travelling to the Mediterreanean Games in Montpelier are stopped in Jablanica. Twenty athletes manage to get through.
• Bill Clinton wishes for an intact BiH, “…but if they agree otherwise, we will accept it.”
• The Children’s Embassy celebrates its second year with acrobatics, rock and roll, songs, contests and games.
• New York, June 20, 1993. The UN adopts a new resolution implementing the protection of the “safe areas.” The UN Security Council, with the key provisions of Resolution 844, "decide to authorize an increase of UNPROFOR forces in order to meet the UN Secretary General’s report on engaging 7,500 new soldiers.
• Geneva: Lord Owen announces: “Our biggest problem is how to coax the Muslims into continuing negotiations.”
• President of the Presidency of BiH, Alija Izetbegovic, returns to Sarajevo from negotiations in Geneva. Other members of the presidency remain in Geneva to see what it will offer. After fifteen months Abdic, Lazovic, Lasic, Akmadzic, and Boras meet for the first time.
• Transmission lines are destroyed, power plants lack materials, the hydroelecrtic plant is held by the HVO and gas is at the mercy of the Bosnian Serb. There is neither water nor electricity.
• Head Commander of UNPROFOR General Morillon is dismissed.
• Members of the BH Presidency Alija Izetbegovic and Ejup Ganic will not travel to Geneva to continue negotiations because of urgent business. The other members of the Presidency are expected to return from Zagreb.
• The team behind the song entry for “Eurovision 93” sprint across the airport runway in order to reach the competition.
• A fashion show is held at the Hotel “Holiday inn”. The fashion collection is made from UNHCR bags and tarpaulins used to cover broken windows.
• The U.S. bombs Baghdad.
• Pavarotti sings in Central Park in New York.
• Various members of the Presidency of BiH discuss the partitioning of BiH at a meeting held at Sarajevo airport.
• At a session of the UN Security Council a suggestion by Islamic and non-aligned countries to lift the arms embargo on Bosnia and Herzegovina is rejected. The U.S. votes in favor; France, the U.K. and Russia against.
• Dr Bakir Nakas, a physician from the state hospital in Sarajevo: “This year was easier, though it was still terribly difficult. I know what I have, and what I can expect,what I have at my disposal and how long it’s going to last.”
Hunger took grip of the besieged city and its citizens started to discover many plants which grew everywhere, finding out that they had a nice taste. Nettles and dandelion found their way to the markets, at quite high prices. Open Society Fund sent to the city 2 million dollars worth of pumpkin, carrot, tomato, lettuce and corn seeds. All green surfaces, the parks, around the houses, boxes on balconies, became gardens, different from those admired by foreign travelers. There were no roses, lilacs and holly.