THE SIEGE IS OFFICIALLY OVER// 03. 1996. • AVDO HEBIB// MINISTER OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT
Minister of Internal Affairs
THE SIEGE IS OFFICIALLY OVER
‘On the 1st of March 1996 we went into Ilijas and when we put up the sign on the police station in Ilijas, when we went around the town, we warned the residents about unexploded land mines. Then we went down the road to Visoko in order to finally open the route from Sarajevo into central Bosnia. In Visoko the residents awaited us and welcomed us. Along the way we met citizens from Ilijas who had been living temporarily in Visoko and other localities and were waiting to go back to Ilijas that day. For security reasons I kept them out of town until our demeaning team finished inspecting all areas, and until they mark specific areas where there was a possibility of finding mine fields. And then I officially announced that the siege of Sarajevo was finally over, that Sarajevo was open and that it was an important day in the history of BH.’
• The siege of the capital, Sarajevo, is officially lifted by the members of the Federal Police, accompanied by IFOR and international allies. The police first arrive through the road from Sarajevo to Visoko and thus open the capital of Bosnia.
• Avdo Hebib, Minister of the Interior of the Federation, on a ride through free roads, symbolically opens the road from Sarajevo to Zenica and Tuzla. On the occasion, Avdo Hebib says: "I declare to all citizens that Sarajevo has been opened. This is a moment that will enter into history." In Ilijas insignia of the state of BiH is posted in public.
• Alexander Ivanko, spokesman for the UN: "All industrial and other equipment from the suburbs will be taken away by orders from the highest officials in the Republika Srpska.”
• American and Russian troops carry out joint patrols in eastern Bosnia.
• The Vatican: "Sarajevo should be given an award for its resistance to this Holocaust."
• Visas for Croatia are abolished.
• Terror in Grbavica: Looters roam freely, people barricade themselves in their homes. The school in Grbavica is set on fire.
• According to the Dayton Peace Agreement, Annex 9, BiH obtains a unique international telephone code for its entire territory: 387
• Hadzici is opened through peaceful reintegration.
• Ilidza is opened on March 12th, 1996 through peaceful reintegration.
• The Mayor of Sarajevo, Tarik Kupusovic, resigns.
• Conflict between Europe and the United States over the arming of the Bosnian army.
• Bakir Alispahic, head of AID is removed from duty at the request of the United States: "AID is associated with secret training camps of terrorists who were planning attacks against the 20,000 U.S. troops in Bosnia."
• Grbavica in flames. Looting, lawlessness.
• The European edition of the "Oslobodjenje" is published.
• Through peaceful reintegration Grbavica is opened. Vraca, Faletici, Mrkovici, Spicasta stijena and Gornje Biosko are liberated.
• The "Centrotrans" transit company removes containers that provided refuge on the streets of Sarajevo. There were 380 structures "for protection”: cars, trolleybuses, buses, concrete slabs.
• The BiH Army withdraws to its barracks.