used without permission, for "fair use" only

Absurdity of Unified Sarajevo

by Zeljko Grujic

Glas Srpski, Banja Luka, Srpska Republic, Bosnia-Hercegovina, 12/4/1995

Objective political analysts and observers warn almost daily that Dayton Agreement, according to which the Serb-held part of Sarajevo is to come under the rule of muslim-Croat coalition, threatens to bring about ethnic cleansing and/or exodus of 120,000 Serbs.It is emphasized that the implementation of this Agreement makes the international community a direct accomplice in the expulsion of the Sarajevo Serbs who have inhabited that area since the ninth century A.D., and who privately own a major part of the land there.

It is also noted that a general layout of Dayton Agreement indicates an intention to seclude the Serbs and render the Serb Republic [Serb-controlled part of Bosnia-Hercegovina] almost impossible to defend. Furthermore, mentioned are the "gaps" in Dayton Agreement, addressed by the French president Jacques Chirac, by which the Agreement fails to provide any guarantees of safety to the Sarajevo Serbs.

In the meantime, the muslim-controlled media and lobbies, have sharply criticized the informal statement from general Basle, the commander-in-chief of UN forces in Sarajevo, who observed that, in his opinion, Dayton Agreement represents hardly more than President Clinton's attempt to gain electoral votes.

General Basle fears that it is logical to expect the exodus of Serbs from Sarajevo, for they are denied safety guarantees, and thus left to the whims of muslim police.

Following already established scenario for prompt removal of "uncooperative" UNPROFOR commanders (i.e. generals McKennzey, Rose), the muslim leaders and media [instigated] a campaign against gen. Basle, while Izetbegovic sent a letter to the French president Chirac, stating that he, Izetbegovic, is the best guarantor of Sarajevo Serbs' safety.

Thus Izetbegovic appears as a sole multiculturalist and defender of Serbs, at a time when even Turkey - overt ally of Bosnian Moslems - winces at his islamic clericalism. Official sources in Ankara note that "Turkey is becoming worried about Izetbegovic's behavior in the future, since he, in his 'Islamic Declaration', had renounced Turkish secularism and its first promoter, Mustapha Kemal Ataturk."

Yet, in a letter to Mr. Chirac, Izetbegovic calls upon his feigned effort to preserve multiculturalist character of Bosnia, although he himself, in 1991, joined in the secessionist wave that shattered multicultural character of ex-Yugoslavia. It seems sensible to ask, then, how can anyone who destroyed such multiculturalism be truly in favor of multicultural Bosnia, or even multicultural Sarajevo.

In his letter, Izetbegovic maintains that he managed to preserve diversity of the former Bosnia-Herzegovina in the areas under muslim control, although it is common knowledge that in northwestern and central parts of Bosnia, Serbs exist only in muslim camps, prisons, or under close surveillance.

Izetbegovic, of course, does not write that, were the multicultural prison of muslim-controlled Sarajevo to be opened, all the Serbs would rush to the Serb-controlled part of the city. He fails to write that in the Moslem part of the city, 15,000 Serbs have vanished, and that 12,500 Serbs died in the Serbian part of the city from Moslem grenades and snipers.

Izetbegovic further mentions the population census from 1991, which has been rejected by the Serbs as a forgery and as such is not legitimate. He claims that the municipalities of Ilijas, Ilidza, Vogosca and Hadzici are not Serb. He lists numbers giving participation of Serbs in the total population, while failing to quote those figures for muslims, let alone Croats, Jews and Yugoslavs.

It is striking that Izetbegovic fails to inform the French president about that; also, it doesn't occur to him to present to Shirac the structure of land ownership in the Sarajevo area.

According to the last and the only legitimate census, from 1981, 450,000 inhabitants lived in six municipalities within the central part of Sarajevo, Stari Grad, Centar, Novo Sarajevo, Novi Grad, Vogosca and Ilidza, which cover 45 square kilometers and 68 settlements. Serbs were more than 50 percent of population in 39 settlements, covering 47.2 percent of the territory, Muslims were the absolute majority in 13 settlements, covering 16.5 percent of the region. Territory wise, in the central part of Sarajevo, the ratio between Serbs and muslims was 3 to 1.[the author considers the land within municipal borders of a settlement in which Serbs are absolute majority to be owned by Serbs. This is sort of legitimate, since in the former Yugoslavia, public resources were "owned by the society", i.e. the people living in a certain area, and private ownership was an exception. After a bit of mental gymnastics, one could conclude that, by extension, public resources actually belong to a largest ethnic group in a town.]

In Ilidza municipality Serbs were in relative majority with 38.9 percent of population, living in settlements covering 58.5 percent of the area. Muslims were 32.7 percent of the population being in majority on 27.5 percent of land, Croats 12 percent of population on 7.5 percent of land; Yugoslavs were 13.3 percent of the population in the municipality.

In Ilijas Serbs owned more than a half of the land and were 42.7 percent of the population, actually less than according to Alija's census from 1991, because in 1981 many of the Ilijas Serbs declared themselves as Yugoslavs.

Izetbegovic claims that Vogosca also wasn't a Serb municipality although 50.8 percent of land on its territory belonged to Serbs and only 37.2 percent to muslims. According to the census in 1981, Serbs were 38 percent of inhabitants on the territory of Vogosca municipality; 9.8 percent of Yugoslavs should also be added to this number.

A large number of Serbs gravitated to the territory of Hadzici municipality during the war; they were victims of muslim ethnic cleansing, people who were expelled from central Bosnia and the neighboring Hercegovina municipalities of Konjic and Jablanica. Naturally, Izetbagovic also fails to mention the case of Mostar from which all Serbs were expelled, although they constituted 18.4 percent of population and owned 22.2 percent of the land in private ownership.

For 120,000 of the Sarajevo Serbs, Izetbegovic is a man who in April of 1992 committed a crime against peace and humanity and they will never accept his rule. General Basle realized this on the spot; his fears regarding the implementation of the Dayton peace agreement are an expression of the realistic feeling for the situation. Because it is absurd to divide the former Bosnia-Hercegovina into two entities, Srpska Republic and the muslim-croatian federation, while denying the existence of two cities: one Serb and the other one muslim.

It is absurd also to impose united Sarajevo under muslim control, when it is known that such intentions haven't worked in the case of Mostar which, in spite of almost two years of pressure by the international community, remains divided by the Neretva river into two cities controlled by the federal allies: Croats and muslims.

Translated on 2/15/96