KLJUIJIC, KOMSIC AND DURAKOVIC BECOME MEMBERS OF THE BH PRESIDENCY// 10. 1993. • NIJAZ DURAKOVIC// PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT
President of the Social Democratic Party
KLJUIJIC, KOMSIC AND DURAKOVIC BECOME MEMBERS OF THE BH PRESIDENCY
‘There was a lot of trouble with the elections. Not only about my position, but also about the re-establishment of the Presidency. You know very well that the Presidency had broken up in the meantime, that the Serbian representatives of the Presidency left. Arrival of the representatives of the Croats was entirely illegitimate and unconstitutional, because Miro Lasic became a member of the Presidency although he did not take part in the 1990 elections. I insisted that if I were to become a member of the Presidency, then certain people would have to come back, Stjepan Kljujic and Ivo Komsic. Kljujic, because he won the 1990 elections and Ivo Komsic because he was third among the Croats, according to the number of votes. After the dismissal of his predecessors, he should have been first on the list. However, after a lot of plotting, negotiations, and political blackmailing the Presidency was re-established with almost a completely new membership: at the front of it Izetbegovic, Ganic, then Durakovic, Komsic, Stjepan Kljuic, Tatjana Ljujic Mijatovic and Mirko Pejanovic. We were aware of the fact that we were only figureheads in The Presidency, because this was not where the real decisions were made and it wasn’t the real center of power. The real center of power was the president of the Presidency, who was also the president of the Military Council and the Commander of the Armed Forces. The real decisions relevant to military questions were made independently of the Presidency, within a smaller staff headed by President Izetbegovic. When things became a worse, when an almost ethnically pure BH Army was being established, when religion began to be used for political purposes, when they purged the BH Army of all so-called inappropriate individuals, people who were not members of Party of Democratic Action, people who did not have Muslim names, and people who do not try to present themselves falsely as members of the new Muslim community, we sent that famous letter signed by five members of the Presidency in which we expressed our opinions about the politicization of the Army and the instrumentalization of the religion for political purposes. We were practically considered traitors, the political scene of BH became polarized, and our initiative bore no fruit.’
• The executive committee of the city reaches a decision on the increase of apartment rent from October 1st.
• An “interreligious event” is held: participants include the Orthodox priest Avakum Rosic, head of the Catholic church Vinko Puljic, Reis-ul-ulema Effendi Ceric, Brother Petar Arandjelovic, President of the Jewish community David Kamhi. A mass is held at the Sarajevo cathedral and liturgy at the Orthodox church.
• During the siege of Sarajevo 120,000 refugees enter the city.
• For the first time during the war the Art Gallery of BiH is opened. There is an exhibition of photographs by Annie Leibovitz. The exhibition is opened by Susan Sontag.
• Susan Sontag becomes an honorary citizen of Sarajevo.
• The Pope sends a message of peace: “Bosnians, you are not alone!”
• “Velepekara” stops working. It has neither gas nor oil.
• The Blessed Peace Buliders wounded in a peace mission across the Vrbanja Bridge. One of them dies.
• Sarajevo Brewery produces 1,000,000 beers a month as a substitute for water. The factory has a stock of raw materials that could last for two years.
• Adi Sarajlic, journalist for the radio station “Zid”, tells his early morning listeners: “260 listeners phone in between 3:30 and 4 o’clock in the morning.
• The HVO wants control over Jablanica. The owners of power plants are set to address the issue of financing Herzeg-Bosnia by exporting electricity to Dalmatia.
• In Sarajevo the smuggling of drugs, works of art and food is widespread.
• Medical evacuations reach an impasse.
• The Directorate for Refugees and Displaced Persons founds a counseling center.
• Survey by the radio station “Studio 99”: The majority of Sarajevans are in favor of the introduction of a protectorate.
• The Sarajevo air bridge is the longest running of its kind in history. It lasts 467 days – longer than that of Berlin.
• In the city frequent gas explosions result of improper installations.
• 10,000 signatories across the world for the establishment of a Court for War Crimes. War criminals cannot bring peace. The declaration is signed by George Soros, Wiesenthal, Umberto Ecco, Ginsberg…
• Serbia under sanctions. Pirates hijack oil on the Danube.
• New members of the Presidency of BiH are appointed: Nijaz Durakovic, Stjepan Kljujic, Ivo Komsic. Miro Lasic and Boras relieved from duty.
• Fikret Abdić, former member of the Presidency of BiH, signs a peace agreement with the Bosnian Serbs. Fikret Abdic works in alliance with Mate Boban.
• Opening of the Film Festival in Sarajevo. Many guests stay in Ancona, not having been able to arrange for UN planes. The slogan of the festival: “We can’t promise you anything.”
• The International Court for War Crimes begins working on November 17.
• Operation undertaken by MUP and the Army of RBiH against the 9th motorized and 10th mountain brigades of the Army of RBiH. 530 people are detained. The main culprit, Caco Topalovic, is killed, and Celo surrenders. MUP and ABiH take back bases from the criminals. According to an “Oslobodjenje” survey, citizens are relieved and believe that rule of law will be restored.
• The Jewish pharmacy in Sarajevo dispenses 10,000,000 medicines to citizens.
THE PRESIDENCY BUILDING
The building was located in the city center. It was built in 1885 in the Neo-renaissance style and it was modeled on 15th century Florence palaces. It was the favorite target. A great number of people was killed or wounded in the streets near the building. The Presidency remained in the building throughout the war and foreign politicians or delegations were always welcomed because their visits meant a temporary respite from shelling.