by Elirija HADZIAHMETOVIC
Otherwise, why would the people from UNHCR be interested in buying the seven houses that Serbs from Bocinja rushed to sell to the current residents of the village? Why would they inform the ones they want to chase out of Bocinja and have property in the Republic of Srpska, that they cannot return them to Srpska, but that they could give them financial compensation for their property? If that was not the case, why would SFOR conduct a brutal raid of the village, and seek problems in all possible ways?
Witnesses of a clash between one of SFOR commanders and a Slovene national working for the IPTF testified that the latter screamed at the former one saying: "I am not a Bosnian. Do you want me to kill you right now?!!!" Why would they spread misinformation claiming that on the key day about 250-300 Mujahedeen gathered in Bocinja, when there were only about a hundred of them, perhaps even less? Ejmen, the permanent escort of Abu Hamza, the head of the Muslim community in Bocinja, at the mention of this figure reacts with outrage: "Allahu ekber!!! It is true that there were 300 special forces policemen, but there were no 300 Mujahedeen! I bought for our men only 70 pies, and if you take into account that some of the pies were split between several individuals, you can see that there were even less of us!" And he and his men should be trusted. Above all because they are trusted by those very same Serbs from Bocinja who would very gladly sell them their houses and who inform them about everything that takes place in their camp.
It is the fact that the community in Bocinja enjoys quiet support of the population. Drivers of busses passing through the village encourage the Mujahedeen: "Keep going, we support you!," and the baker, from whom they bought bread while all of them were still together, delivered 100 loaves of bread for free. From a dzemat [Muslim parish] in Maglaj they received a delegation which offered assistance within the limits of its capabilities.
Abu Hamza, perpetually blamed even for the clear skies, and the rain falling in Bocinja, told Ljiljan everything about the events that took place after in early December the Maglaj municipality sent the Mujahedeen a letter demanding from them to immediately after Bayram empty the building of the former Culture Hall, presently used as a Mesdzid [communal mosque] and the school.
Wednesday, first day of Bayram: "It is our tradition that the first day of Bayram is celebrated jointly by brothers from all over Europe. We also talked about the municipal demand that we hand over the Mesdzid, which was opposed by some of them, especially by those who were expelled from Bocinja. I explained to them that one cannot play games with the law and that those who stayed in Bocinja would suffer the consequences if we do not return the Mesdzid. In the end all of them accepted my proposal that we demand compensation for our investments in the adaptation of the Culture Hall in a Mesdzid in court. We celebrated until the morning and then went home."
Thursday, second day of Bayram: "Around six in the morning a brother phoned and told me that we could not pray in the Mesdzid because it is chaotic down there. I could not immediately go down to Donja Bocinja to see what was going on, so I told them to pray in the offices. When I arrived around noon, it was total chaos, the furniture had been taken away, floor heating pulled out of the floor... It was strange that no one had seen or heard anything, because at least five or six hours were needed to haul all of that away, and the police was nearby. None of our brothers saw anything because the closest inhabited house is 500 meters from the Mesdzid. We were unable to track down the things. I agreed with the brothers to report the damage because we had invested into that Mesdzid, ignoring electricity, carpentry and floor heating, $50,000."
Saturday and other days after Bayram: "In the morning I had some obligations in Zavidovici. Around noon, they phoned me and said that SFOR had started building a new base in the courtyard of the school. And before that, in quick succession, the base was located in Blizina, then on the spot of the sawmill, then at the playground. I arrived later and asked them where our things were. They did not give them to us. I wanted to visit one of our brothers with my wife and children, but one of SFOR soldiers blocked my path and did not let me through.
Immediately on Sunday morning a whole army of special forces policemen, carabignieri, military police, different sorts of SFOR troops, gathered. Then the brothers started arriving, even though I had told them not to come, because there was no need for trouble. They collected money for a spit. We slaughtered two rams. One of them wanted to make a joke: 'I gave the most money for him and will therefore smear myself.' Then some of them also smeared themselves with rams' blood. SFOR fenced off the school building and did not allow us to remove our belongings. Inside the school we had a large fridge for which we paid $12,000, an oil tank and two water tanks, and many other valuable objects. Brothers kept asking for their belongings. Then the tensions increased, because SFOR soldiers usurped our property. We entered the school through the other exit and started removing our belongings, when one of their Rambos came and gave us an ultimatum:
'You have five minutes to get lost!' He did not tell that directly to us but to the police. I told them that those who make ultimatums should come to throw us out. Then their commander came and entered the school with the police. He saw, probably, that there were no nuclear arms there, excluding ancient beans. He said: 'Take your stuff!' The one before him told us that we had five minutes to get lost and the third guy blocked our path so that we could not leave. They obviously did their best to provoke any incident. We took out the furniture, old and new, wiring and electrical appliances, water installations, equipment for the kindergarten, beds, blankets, tents... They checked everything we took out. There was a problem with the containers and tanks. I agreed with the police to wait until tomorrow, until noon when the commander of the Nordic-Polish brigade was supposed to arrive. At the meeting I asked them about our belongings and they said they did not know anything about that. That's when I lost it! I left the meeting and left the building. I again told those outside that we wanted out belongings, and would get them by force if necessary. Then they cocked their guns, as if someone was going to attack them. Then we were informed that the police had blocked the entrance to the village and was letting people out, only those with beards. I went to the police to find out more about that, and they said that that was not true. Do you see how they tried to play games with us? I returned to the sawmill, and there the Poles had built a checkpoint with three-four armored troops carriers, blocked a part of the road and were not letting me through.
"Then our policemen asked whether I wanted to give a statement about these events. I understood that that was in connection with the SFOR and got in the car with Ejmen and went to the police on my own. I entered there and said I needed to see the police chief and they took me to see a detective. I entered his office, gave a statement, and he wrote down that I was responsible for damaging the Mesdzid, for the theft of state property. Shame! Then I told him that I refused to talk to him. They kept coming in and trying to talk, but I took Qoran and during that time read many pages. When they realized that I was angry, they did not look me in the eyes anymore. They gave me some document to sign. I refused. The next morning my lawyer came and explained the situation. Then, they let me go."