A BUS ARRIVES TO SARAJEVO VIA OCCUPIED VOGOSCA// 05. 1994. • EMIR KAPIC// FIVE YEAR OLD
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT
Five year old
A BUS ARRIVES TO SARAJEVO VIA OCCUPIED VOGOSCA
‘I was with my mom at my grandparents' house in the village of Mostre. I was glad to be going to Sarajevo. And then mama packed our bags and we started off. I was happy that we were going. And when we arrived an inspector came in and started asking us for our names. I told him that my name is Emir Kapic. And then we started off and then we continued with our trip. And when we got here I came home and immediately went outside. When we arrived, they were shooting, and when they stopped shooting I went outside to play. But when they were shooting outside, I was in my room-playing ball with my dad.’
• Andrei Kozyrev, Russian Foreign Minister, proposes a four-month truce.
• On the occasion of Easter, a solemn liturgy is held at the Church of the Holy Transfiguration.
• The famous Formula 1 driver Aerton Senna is killed in an accident.
• On Poljine, a hill above Sarajevo, the Bosnian Serb army requests to take a 122mm artillery piece from a UN checkpoint. The French soldiers refuse to hand over the weapon, which is under UN control, which leads to an argument. The UNPROFOR calls for NATO assistance. NATO planes fly low above the UN checkpoint.
• Taxi fares in Sarajevo: From the city center to "Kosevo" hospital – a can of fish; from the center to the neighborhood of Otoka- 1 liter of oil and 1 kilogram of sugar.
• Sarajevans fish in the city’s small river, the Miljacka, in order to survive.
• Akashi makes a secret deal with the Bosnian Serbs so that they can transport their tanks through the exclusion zone; in return they will allow through a convoy of British UN soldiers near Rogatica. The Bosnian Serbs do not hold up their end of this agreement.
• Huge lines of people in front of the Croatian Embassy wait for visas.
• A bus from Visoko arrives with 87 passengers.
• The Iranian Embassy opens.
• "The Guardian": "The destruction of Sarajevo as an ideal, the concept of Sarajevo, makes captives of us all."
• Vienna: Ongoing negotiations between Muslims and Croats over the constitution of the Federation of BH.
• UNICEF report on "Children and War in Bosnia": 79% of children have seen a wounded person, 55% of children have been shot at by a sniper; 96% of children have been shelled, 23% of children think that life has no value, 29% of children do not have feelings of sadness, 34% children have nervous stomach problems.
• Geneva, May 13th, 1994. In Geneva, a new round of peace negotiations starts.
• The new mayor of Sarajevo, Tarik Kupusovic, goes to Venice to mark the establishment of its sister city status with Sarajevo. He brings with him seven children from Sarajevo, all of them of different nationalities.
• Vienna: A document on the constitution of the Federation between Muslims and Croats is signed
• The event "Days of the National Museum" takes place in Sarajevo.
• Because of the open roads and larger supplies, prices in the market are dropping. Problems with the exchange rate due to a lack of small bills and coins. Until now, people did not use these because of the high prices at the markets; now there is a lack of small change.
• The administration of U.S. deals on three levels: 1. With the general public, 2. with the Arabs, 3. with their European allies.
• A Joint Staff is formed for the establishment of a federal army.
• Huge mass of vouchers circulates on the market, which dictates the price of the Deutsch mark. 1 DM. = 1 million bh vouchers
• Street stalls with books no longer exist - they're now a fantasy amid the current terror. An Encyclopedia cost 1 egg; today an Encyclopedia costs 5 eggs.
• The amount of $44,000 in ransom money is paid to the Bosnian Serbs for the release of imprisoned French soldiers.
• The U.K. will withdraw their troops if the warring parties do not reach an agreement within eight weeks. "The Muslims need to admit defeat," says Douglas Hogg.
• In Sarajevo water rationing is in effect. An appeal is sent to the citizens: "Do not wash carpets, do not water gardens!"
• Goats appear on Sarajevo trams. The goat has proven to be very useful for survival in Sarajevo.
• Jacqueline Onassis dies.
• France: French intellectuals lead an election campaign for the European Parliament under the slogan: "Europe begins in Sarajevo." A "List for Sarajevo" is formed. Bernard-Henri Lévy: "European values are being buried in Sarajevo."
• The first gas station reopens.
• Veterans of the Second World War lay flowers at the bust of Tito, on the occasion of his birthday.
• The Bosnian Serbs shoot at the bus to Visoko. A woman is killed but UNPROFOR manages to protect the bus.
• The U.S. Senate proposes airstrikes. UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali is against the attack, as is France.
• Geneva: agreement on the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina: 51% of the territory to the Federation, 49% of territory to the Bosnian Serbs.
• Dobrinja: Bosnian Serbs fire on a bus with passengers. The decision is made for UNPROFOR soldiers to ride on buses with passengers on the "blue routes."
• General Michael Rose: "This is a stalemate: the Serbs in the long run are losing the war, and the Muslims cannot reclaim the territory."
• Departure of convoy for Belgrade is expected : Passengers may bring only two bags, not weighing more than 15 kg., and no more than 1,000 DM in cash
• Water: no water in the city due to excessive spending on garden irrigation and washing carpets.
• Alexander Solzhenitsin returns to Russia after 20 years in exile.
• The "Botanical Garden", re-opens after two years. Museum workers have saved it from woodcutters during severe winters.
• Mariofil Ljubic appointed for president of the Constituent Assembly of the Federation.
• French intellectuals abandon the idea for the "List for Sarajevo."
• Marketplace: Chicken is cheaper than cabbage; cabbage is 8 DM.
• World No Tobacco Day
On the fifth of April, 1992, around Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which had about 500,000 inhabitants, around the city in the valley of the river Miljacka surrounded by mountains which made in the host of 1984 Winter Olympics, in the very center of what was Yugoslavia, appeared: two-hundred-sixty tanks, one-hundred-twenty mortars, and innumerable anti-aircraft cannons, sniper rifles and other small arms. All of that was entrenched around the city, facing it. At any moment, from any of these spots, any of these arms can hit any target in the city. And they did hit, indeed - civilian housing, museums, churches, mosques, hospitals, cemeteries, people on the streets. Everything became a target. All exits from the city, all points of entry, were blocked.
THE UNPROFOR (the United Nations Protection Forces)
The role of the UNPROFOR was manifold. They served as hostages to the aggressor, they cleared the garbage, they rode in trams as a protection against snipers, they gave out sweets, brought flour, destroyed the surface of Sarajevo streets with their tanks and transporters, representing the only city transportation throughout a long period, they repaired electrical transmission lines, they controlled the airport... The most important form of the protection of citizens was driving the transporters next to them shielding them from the sniper fire while they were crossing the Tito street. For a long time they were the most significant part of the city’s commercial life because they were trading the goods available to them.