THE GAS-HEATING COMPANY// 07. 1994. • VAHID TANOVIC// DIRECTOR OF THE GAS-HEATING COMPANY
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT
Director of the Gas-Heating Company
THE GAS-HEATING COMPANY
‘I remember that there was practically only one satellite phone that we used, we sent faxes, received faxes, received some additional explanations through it. So that the project under the official title given to it by the Governments of BH and of the Netherlands. Heating, started in January or 1993. Till then it had developed in several phases and it lasted until November 1, 1996. The first and major phase of the project, when the project played a very significant role for this city was as I said in January of 1993 and it consisted of thousands and thousands of heating bodies. Thousands and thousands of cookers. It consisted of one key part and that was the equipment for the gas installation of the Sarajevo City Bakery and it consisted of over one hundred aggregates of small and medium power, gas aggregates that enabled us to produce electric power at various points within the city.’
• The Contact Group, composed of the U.K., France, Russia, Germany and the U.S. will present a map with the territorial demarcation of BiH and a set of threats in order to ensure acceptance of the plan.
• The U.S. Senate votes to not allow unilaterally lifting the arms embargo. The vote count is 50 - 50, but Vice President Al Gore casts the deciding vote against.
• Conflict between the Franciscans in Medjugorje. Fra Zovko, "Herzeg-Bosnia is the same as the creation of the Bosnian Serbs."
• Opening of U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo.
• Geneva, July 5th, 1994. Geneva peace agreement between the Muslims and Croats on the city of Mostar, placing it under the supervision of the European Union. Alija Izetbegovic and Kresimir Zubak sign the agreement.
• Top diplomats representing members of the G7 adopt a map dividing Bosnia and Herzegovina. They decided that with warnings and incentives they can compel the Muslims and Serbs to accept it.
• Gorazde: UN soldiers increasingly frequent target of attacks.
• The Contact Group proposes a portfolio of maps for all of the delegations. Concessions were made to the Government of BiH by preserving Bosnia and Herzegovina as a single state within its existing borders.
• The citizens of Sarajevo gain weight.
• On roofs in Sarajevo green gardens are cultivated as a means of survival.
• NATO appeals to the warring sides to accept the peace plan.
• On the plan presented by the Contact Group, Alija Izetbegovic says: "The plan is bad, but all of the other options are worse."
• U.K. Foreign Minister Douglas Hurd, and the Foreign Minister of France, Alain Juppé, arrive in Sarajevo on the occasion of the opening of the French Embassy.
• Increased sniper fire.
• The Parliament of the Federation BiH accepts the Contact Group plan.
• The Bosnian Serb Assembly has not yet announced a decision on the peace plan proposed by the Contact Group.
• Flights to Sarajevo airport are suspended because the a "C-141 Hercules" plane is hit.
• The UN Special Envoy for Human Rights, Tadeusz Mazowiecki: "My statements were not taken seriously, and my recommendation was not accepted, because that is how the governments of some European countries wanted it to be."
• The Bosnian Serbs reject the new peace plan. The international community is now left without a new initiative.
• In Mostar the administration of the European Union is established.
• Because of the Bosnian Serbs's rejection of the peace plan, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, says: "We hope that the Russians put pressure on the Serbs to accept the peace plan."
• The Bosnian Serbs close the "blue routes" around Sarajevo.
• NATO is ready to provide air support to UN troops. The Bosnian Serb Army attacks a UN convoy on Mount Igman.
• Geneva: The Contact Group brings sanctions, but no military intervention.
• Sarajevo: A tram comes under sniper attack. Passengers wounded. Tram traffic suspend. UN soldiers return fire from an APC and thus stop the sniper fire.
Cold weather and the arrival of winter brought about new arrangements in the apartments. Chimney outlets were opened even in houses with central heating. From the basements and from the attics, from friends are acquaintances, old stoves were brought. Boiler-rooms are not working. In the absence of chimneys, people fix extra flues and stick them out of their windows. Flues are lurking on streets, smoking. Cooking still continues on the balconies, among empty flower-pots, housewives stirring the fire with newspapers. The basic stove is a tin one - furuna, made by craftsmen on Bascarsija or even by self-taught masters. Material and imagination define the form, size and the purpose (for coffee, cooking, or heating). Furuna are being sold on several markets, but only for DMs. But the major problem is fuel. You cannot buy wood or coal.
During the first summer, all dry benches, trees and wooden material were collected. This fall, parks, alleys, courtyard and cemetery trees started to fall birches, poplars, ash-trees, plane-trees, plum- trees, apple-trees, cherry-trees, pear-trees, all the way down to brushwood. Wooden backs of benches in parks were taken away, frames and doors of ruined apartments, handrails from the hallways, shelves from abandoned stores and kiosks, wooden stools and bars from restaurants, even the crosses and pyramids from the cemeteries. All bombed houses and barracks were dismantled with enviable speed. But fuel is still scarce. Those who were wise took scrap wood from their garages early in the summer. Now paper versions are being manufactured. Plastic bags, a part of US lunch packages - a leftover from the Persian Gulf War - can heat five liters of water... UNHCR supplied the city with a numerous but not sufficient thermal foils for windows. On every window, from the outside, one can read their name: UNHCR - they are the owners of our lives. November temperatures were very nice. Meteorologists have informed us they were very high, by comparison with times no one remembers any more: about 9 degrees C (Centigrade) in the apartment. It was warmer to take a walk then to sit inside. Fortunately, everyone can get warm while searching for water and wood.