Bosnian Blues

Oktober 30, 2015

20 years after the internationally enforced peace settlement Bosnia has been more peaceful that even the optimists dared hope. Yet the scars of war in Sarajevos city are visible everywhere. On almost every corner, there are walls covered with bullet holes from sniper fire during the four year long siege of the city. Unfortunately the war that seems to remain a constant excuse for political dysfunction. The countries two constituent entities, a Bosniak-Croat federation and the serb Republika Srpska, continue to stagnate having minimal contact with each other. The bitter memory, or better yet opposing memories, are dividing society along an ethic divide. 2014 marked the centenary of the outbreak of the first world war and each group was teaching its children a different interpretation of the killing that triggered the conflict. It gets even nastier when it comes to the 1995 mass murder in Srebrenica committed by units of the army of the Republika Srpska under the command of General Ratko Mladić. Every year thousands of muslim Bosnians gather in the now predominantly serb village to bury newly identified bodies or body parts still being found in the many mass graves in the area. The terrible events of July 1995, when 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were executed and left another 25,000 – 30,000 civilians expelled were qualified as genocide by two international courts. Just recently the president of the serb-run Republika Srpska claimed that the Srebrenica genocide was a „lie“, only a week ahead the 20th anniversary of the slaughter. in 2015 post-war Bosnia is divided more than ever.

Boy looking at a bombshelled house in Sarajevo. Woman in Sarajevo mourning for the victims Srebrenica whose coffins are being transported through he city centre before being taken to the graveyard. A man mourning next to the coffins of victims to be buried at the Srebrenica Potočari Memorial site. bosnian_blues-7 Mothers and grandmothers mourning newly identified victims of genocide in at the Srebrenica Potočari Memorial site. Muslim Bosnians carrying coffins of newly identified victims of genocide to the graves at the Srebrenica Potočari Memorial. Muslim Bosnians burying the bodies of newly identified victims of genocide at the Srebrenica Potočari Memorial site. Fresh graves of newly identified victims of genocide at the Srebrenica Potočari Memorial site.