THE LAST REINTEGRATED MUNICIPALITY, GRBAVICA, IS LIBERATED // 03. 1996.
AVDO HEBIB // MINISTER OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
ORAL HISTORY - INTERVIEW
ORAL HISTORY - TRANSCRIPT

March 1996

Avdo Hebib
Minister of Internal Affairs
THE LAST REINTEGRATED MUNICIPALITY, GRBAVICA, IS LIBERATED

‘We went into a heavily damaged section of Sarajevo, in Grbavica. That part of town was still burning when we went in. A significant number of the buildings were in flames when we went in, so we immediately called for the Fire Department to send units to go in with us. So that they, as we entered Grbavica, as we were liberating Grbavica, the firefighters were doing everything they could to save whatever they could. It was sad to see Grbavica at that moment. Completely demolished. Grbavica was in flames. A large part of Grbavica, especially Zagreb Street and Belgrade Street, was completely demolished. The ruins looked more like Hiroshima than our Grbavica, but we were then aware that once we connected Grbavica with the city again we would restore it quickly, and return Grbavica to its original state. After Grbavica I went on to Vraca to see the Police Academy, which was where the first battle for the defense of Sarajevo took place. And after going round the academy, we concluded the reintegration of the city of Sarajevo at one location where there is a panoramic view of Trebevic. There we raised a large flag of the BH.’

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MARCH 1996


• 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.

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