CLIMBING IN THE HIMALAYAS IS STOPPED// 08. 1994. • MUHAMED GAFIC// MEMBER OF THE ALPINIST EXPEDITION
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT
Member of the Alipinist Expedition
CLIMBING IN THE HIMALAYAS IS STOPPED
‘We had to give up on our attempt to get to the top of Gasherbrum, 8,035 meters, and that was the end of the first BH expedition to conquer a peak over 8 thousand meters. What happened was that one of the climbers of the first group, the group whose role and opportunity it was to get to the peak, had a heart attack at 6 thousand feet? We called for a helicopter but it couldn’t land at that height for technical reasons. No helicopter in the world could have landed at that height and evacuated him. He was very bad. It might have been able to land but it couldn’t have taken off. We got the news during the day and in the evening together with three members of an international Himalayan team we managed to get to him. We thought it would take three days, to evacuate the sick man from Nail Dervisevic, but we did it in just one night. He was in base camp at seven o’clock in the morning. Our expedition did have a chance, a great chance, to get to the top, and at that moment it would have been a great thing in Bosnia and for Bosnia. But the fate of the expedition and the members of the expedition were like Bosnia’s karma. We only needed just a little more to the top. We didn’t manage but there’ll be another time.’
• A common scene on the streets of Sarajevo: in the tram stand passengers reading newspapers, while a sniper on the hill shoots all over Marijn Dvor. All wait for the shooting to stop. Passengers entering the tram choose the "best" place in the tram, where one has "the least chance of being shot" - Sarajevo Roulette.
• The usual sight at UN checkpoints where they should provide control of Bosnian Serb weapons: the Serbs arrive at checkpoints, take weapons by force from UN soldiers, then engage in talks over restoring the weapons under control.
• Foreign Minister of Russia, Andrei Koziryev: "I will no longer talk with Radovan Karadzic."
• At the airport negotiations on the cessation of sniper shootings.
• Because of the refusal to sign the proposed plan of the Contact Group and their referendum vote, the Serbian government sends a letter to the Bosnian Serbs: "Do not hide yourselves behind the referendum."
• The Government of Yugoslavia decides to break off political and economic relations with the Bosnian Serbs and the leadership in Pale. Borders are closed, transportation stopped and ban passed prohibiting political leaders and members of Parliament to step on Yugoslav soil.
• Bosnian Serbs seize a tank, 2 APC′s from a UN checkpoint. NATO aircraft warn their headquarters, and then act. UN Commander Michael Rose: "We warned the Serbian side to take shelter, because we did not want to kill soldiers." The green light for attacks comes from Washington, after consultation with Moscow and Brussels. "
• Passengers injured in a tram. The trams stops working.
• After the NATO air strikes, the Serbs return the tank, 2 APC′s and 2 anti-aircraft weapons. Admiral Leighton Smith, on the occasion of the NATO actions: "The point of the attack was to warn the Serbs so that they don’t even think of doing this again."
• Since the closure of the "blue routes" prices in the markets have soared by 100%.
• Momcilo Krajisnik, president of the Bosnian Serb Assembly, sends a request to the Contact Group to change the maps and give the Serbs their own state, otherwise they will be responsible for the escalation of the war in Bosnia.
• "Krug 99" launches a campaign: Declaration on a unified Sarajevo.
• Thousandth performance of "Moving Theatre."
• Swimming in the rivers of Sarajevo is forbidden due to contaminated water and the increasing occurrence of jaundice.
• Manfred Woerner, Secretary General of NATO, passes away.
• At Sarajevo airport an agreement is signed on snipers.
• Issues surround the commissioning of a new water supply - wait for a unit for water treatment.
• A BiH expedition stops its climb on the Himalayas due to the illness of one of the climbers.
• Vatican works on plans for the Pope's visit to Sarajevo. The Vatican gives consideration to the warning from Radovan Karadzic that the Pope will be shot by Muslims who in turn will blame the Serbs for the assassination.
• UN observers monitor Igman road with cameras, as Bosnian Serbs are firing on it.
• Sarajevo tram: UN troops will be passengers on the tram in order to ensure the safety of the passengers.
• The ARBiH liberates the city Velika Kladusa. The Army issues a proclamation for citizens to have confidence in it.
• General Michael Rose rides on the Sarajevo tram with specially designed tram tickets designed just for him and his symbolic ride.
• President of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic refuses to appoint observers at the border. Kozyrev travels to Belgrade.
• A fashion show with pieces made from clay and yeast is held; the designer is Snjezana Hufnagl.
• Everthing is prepared for the Pope's arrival. An altar is being constructed.
• Russian Foreign Minister Andre Kozyrev says after his visit to Belgrade, "We must strengthen sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs and ease sanctions against Belgrade."
• A statement from Radovan Karadzic, on the occasion of a possible lifting of the arms embargo for the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina: "If the international community lifts the embargo, we will detain all foreigners, shoot down all planes, and kidnap UN observers."
• Andrei Kozyrev in Sarajevo.
• After discussions with Koziryev, Slobodan Milosevic agrees to place observers on the border.
Everyone is in sports clothes, for they are warmer, more comfortable and enable you to run quicker. Most of the members of the Bosnian Armed Forces wear deep white sneakers with the logo Yugosport. Their uniform, at the beginning, consisted of jeans, masking parts, ingenious improvisations made of bright colors. Bulletproof jackets are very rare They can be found at the price of 200 DM. Citizens renew wear and footwear by moving into abandoned apartments.
Six kilometers a day-that is the average for those who don’t need to go far. Some believe it helps you to keep in good shape.
That is the favorite sport, practiced by everyone in Sarajevo. All cross-roads are run through as are all the dangerous neighborhoods. One runs with stolen wood, to the line where others are standing. Something is on sale, and you will know it only when you join the line.
Urban rock-climbing is a compulsory sports discipline. Instead of adequate ropes, one uses sheets. Climbers are solving distances between balconies, from higher to the lower ones which are not yet reached by fire.
Often played with soldiers of UNPROFOR. On the other side - Bosnian Armed Forces, police and professional city players who are still here. Games take place in the hall of the burned Skenderija. The game is hard, masculine, with lots of injuries. Foreigners lose here, as they always did.
Played on staircases, in basements and in shelters. Sometimes even in the chess club Bosna, which has a good and very expensive buffet.
An entirely new city discipline. Tools for this sport are an electric saw and axes, small and big. One gets trained by cutting, trimming, splitting and piling the wood on the balcony or in the room, where they don’t suffer so much humidity. Wood is stacked in the bedroom, hall, living room, in the next apartment whose owners have left of disappeared.