APPEALS FOR HELP // 04. 1995.
TARIK KUPUSOVIC // MAYOR OF SARAJEVO
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

April 1995

Tarik Kupusovic
Mayor of Sarajevo
APPEALS FOR HELP

‘The situation in the city was disastrous because we received help for a period of time from UNHCR. That help was very, very shortened due to the lack of will to break the siege, which meant fulfillment of their mission. We wanted to mobilize all the cities of the world and to show that besides international help, there is solidarity between cities, which can function with or without the help of the UN. That forced them to help us bring goods secretly into the town, not only through the tunnel, but also across the runaway. There were many supplies that other cities collected from among their citizens and sent to us.’

TOPIC RELATED PHOTOGRAPHS
TOPIC RELATED TEXT

APRIL 1995


• In London, Irma Hadzimuratovic dies, the girl shot by a sniper and evacuated to London to save her life.
• New York, April 2, 1995. The UN Security Council adopts a resolution for the existing peacekeeping force of 40,000 soldiers, known as UNPROFOR, to be divided into three separate missions. The largest UN mission will be in Croatia, under the name of UNCRO, while the third mission will have the task of precluding the spread of wider hostilities in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia.


• American ambassador Viktor Jackovich leaves Sarajevo to become the ambassador in Ljubljana.
• The Youth Theatre tours in Germany and Switzerland.


• Radovan Karadzic requests 30,000 tons of petrol from Akashi for spring sowing. Akashi requests a proposal from him for the project.
• Vatican: the Pope announces that “Bosnia is a deeply unjust conflict.”


• The Serbs steal vehicles and arms from the UN.


• Boutros Boutros-Ghali receives the Onassis award for promoting the role of the UN.


• “Vivicitta”, an international marathon – the race is not held on the city’s streets, but indoors at Skenderija, because UNPROFOR cannot guarantee the race’s safety.


• Richard Holbrooke: “We are concerned about the deteriorating situation in Bosnia.”
• When asked how the Bosnian Serbs knew the “blue helmets” intentions, UNPROFOR spokesman Alexander Ivanko replies, “The UN is a transparent organization.”


• Increase in prices at the market.


• The BiH government requests that UNPROFOR respect the procedures for protecting the “safe areas.”
• Radovan Karadzic invites former American president Jimmy Carter to return to BiH to extend the so-called ceasefire. International officials no longer come to Pale for negotiations. Karadzic is morally, politically and economically isolated.
• NATO warns that it will shoot down secondary military targets if primary ones are not available.
• Russia will reestablish ties with Pale, if Pale says ‘yes’ to the Contact Group’s peace plan.
• The war criminal Arkan cannot travel to Brazil for his honeymoon because of an Interpol warrant.
• In the border area around Skadar lake 30 petrol pumps are installed to supply oil smuggled from Albania. The tanks are transported by cars with BiH registration plates that are under the control of the Bosnian Serbs.


• The world learns of another sniper victim. Maja Djokić, a young girl, is killed.
• It is agreed that for the holiday of Passover the Jewish community be provided with the original copy of the Sarajevo “Haggadah.”
• Announcement of the Civil Defense, after three years of shelling: “In response to general danger announcements citizens are required to darken their rooms. Those who disobey this order will have their electricity turned off."


• The Contact Group cannot arrive in Sarajevo because their airplane is not given permission to land. The Bosnian Serb Army Commander Ratko Mladic refuses to give them permission. The Bosnian Serbs refuse to enter into discussions on the opening of the airport. They threaten to bring down any airplane that tries to land at the airport.
• The citizens of Sarajevo are asked for reduced movement; compliance with general danger signals; the use of “alternative corridors” for traffic; to observe alarm signals and the implementation of self-defense measures.
• City markets are moved to “alternate spaces”.


• The Bosnian Serbs kidnap four French citizens who work for the organization “Doctors without Borders”.


• At a crossing in Kobiljak Bosnian Serbs seize 10,000 DM from a lead UNHCR convoy. Chris Janowski, UNHCR spokesman: “We will not go further than Kobiljace.”


• The new round of humanitarian assistance includes:1 kg. flour, 500 g. of rice, 400 g. of beans, 200 g. of oil. Children receive 2 kg. of soy flour, 3 kg. of biscuits, while cans of “Ikar” are uncertain.
• A French member of UNPROFOR is killed, at the “Holiday Inn”, while setting up an “anti-sniper” shipping container.
• French Defense Minister, François Léotard, announces that if the French conditions for its military presence is not met that France will withdraw its troops.


• Regarding the difficult situation in Sarajevo, the president of the Presidency of BiH, Alija Izetbegovic, warns: “As long as Karadzic’s Serbs continue shelling Sarajevo without reactions from the international community, the ARBiH will break out with the help of the citizens of Sarajevo. The other option is to hand over control of the city to UNPROFOR and to establish a demilitarized zone with a range of 20 km.”
• William Eagleton, UN civilian administrator for Sarajevo: “The Bosnian Serbs will not even hear of a common structure.”


• The Pope sends an Easter message: “To the families destroyed by war, and the victims of hatred and violence in Algeria, Bosnia, Burundi, south Sudan, the church does not hesitate to repeat the Easter message of peace.”


• The Bosnian Serbs refuse to allow the flight of American ambassador Victor Jakovich. He leaves the city in a UN APC, over Igman, the most dangerous road in the world. Jackovich appeals to the UN, but they confirm the decision by the Serb liaison officer, saying there is nothing they can do.
• UNPROFOR renews its “air bridge” upon agreeing to the conditions of the Bosnian Serbs: as long as Bosnians cannot use the planes they are guaranteed their safety.


• The Contact Group plane returns, as the Bosnian Serbs do not guarantee the plane’s safety, in which there are four civilians.
• The Bosnian Serbs: 1. Close the road to the runway; 2. Keep the road over Igman under constant fire; 3. Kill inhabitants from surrounding areas.


• UNPROFOR collapses like a poorly designed building because of flaws in its foundation from 1992. They were sent to keep a peace that never was. It becomes the fourth side in the conflict. Resolution 900 on Sarajevo is adopted.
• Sarajevo communicates with the world through e-mail, thanks to a donation from the Soros Foundation; the e-mail’s system is codenamed ZAMIR-SA. 56,049 messages are exchanged with the world.


• The First Corps of the ARBiH liberates the tallest peak of Treskavica, “Djokin tower,” and re-names it “Little Caba”.
• Akashi insists on extending the ceasefire. Radovan Karadzic refuses: “We offer a lasting peace, not a partial solution.”
• Because of daylight saving time, the curfew is moved, and now lasts from 11pm to 5am.
• Akashi does not receive permission from a Serb officer for a flight to land with two Americans and a German because they do not have permission to land. These are Steiner and Frasure, members of the Contact Group. The Serbs prohibit them from entering the city, threatening to shoot them down.
• François Mitterand invites the President of the Presidency of BiH, Aliji Izetbegovic, to Paris on May 8th, to participate in a celbration of the 50th anniversary of the triumph over fascism: “The time has come for us to definitively turn a page in history, to celebrate the reconciliation between European nations and consider the new perspectives we are offered,” reads the invitation.
• Regarding the entry ban on the Contact Group to the airport in Sarajevo, Radovan Karadzic explains: “We do not accept any resolutions, even those of the Security Counil. Members of the Contact Group cannot come to hold meetings with only Muslims present.”
• The suspension of sanctions against Yugoslavia is extended to 75 days, and not 100 as before.


• If the war escalates, Russian “blue-helmets” may withdraw.


• The Serbs demand an office at the airport in order to monitor the identities of entrants.


• Regarding the extension of the ceasefire, the President of the Presidency, Alija Izetbegovic announces: “Our side will not agree to a formal extension of the ceasefire. The Serbs have not accepted a peace plan, nor has Milosevic recognized BiH.”


• A satellite link is established between Sarajevo-Barcelona and the rest of the world as a donation of the city of Barcelona to Sarajevo.

Eating

The main dishes of 1992 are macaroni and rice. You wouldn’t believe in how many different ways they can be prepared! They can’t be bought, except on the black market. That was the case during the first months of the siege. Now everyone is saving them, jealously, if they still have any. By additions and with a lot of imagination, one USA lunch package can feed five people. Rice, macaroni and bread are often eaten together - otherwise it is difficult to survive. For one resident of Sarajevo, during the first seven months of war, you couldn’t count more than six packages of humanitarian aid. One had to invent ways to preserve and eat for as long as possible what is normally envisioned for one person, one meal, one use. In spring, summer and fall, all leaves it is possible to find were used as ingredients - from parks, gardens, fields and hills which were not dangerous to visit. Combined with rice, and well seasoned, everything becomes edible. Each person in Sarajevo is very close to an ideal macrobiotician, a real role-model for the health-conscious, diet-troubled West. A war cookbook emerged spontaneously, as a survival bestseller. Recipes spread throughout the city very quickly. People are healthy, in spite of everything, far no one eats animal fat anymore, nor meat, nor cheese - meals are made without eggs, without milk, onions, meat, vegetables. We eat a precious mix of wild imagination.

TOPIC RELATED VIDEO
POLLS
POLL
MAPA SIEGE OF SARAJEVO