ADVICE FOR SURVIVAL // 07. 1994.
SULEJMAN BEGOVIC // PENSIONER
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

July 1994

Sulejman Begovic
Pensioner
ADVICE FOR SURVIVAL

‘A garden is like a woman. Women are beautiful, but they need to have a little bit of makeup. And a garden, if vegetables don’t have water they won’t live. Somehow this problem had to be solved. Every day I would take the cart/baby carriage from Marijin Dvor and take the water canisters to the Brewery. The Brewery, by the way, had its own wells, and that saved Sarajevo. Regardless of artillery fire that killed and wounded people, we had to go there and wait in line. I would get two or three canisters, take them to the garden, and water the plants. We were so happy when it rained. Then it was less crowded, and we would collect the rainwater in a pail. And that was a relief both for the people of Sarajevo and for the gardens.’

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JULY 1994


• 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.

GARDENS

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.

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