used without permission, for "fair use" only
by Zija DIZDAREVIC
Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo, Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina, B-H, April 7, 2001
Slobodan Milosevic is the central participant in the destruction of the former Yugoslavia, but not the only responsible individual for the immeasurable evil that has happened and has lasting and long-reaching consequences. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, millions were persecuted, expelled, displaced. No one knows how many people were disabled. Systematic rape was used for those ends as a highly morbid war weapon. Children, women, men were raped. Parents were forced to commit incest. In that unprecedented rainbow of evil people were tortured and killed in all sorts of ways - skewered, slaughtered, flayed, set on fire. Children in Sarajevo were daily a target of sharpshooters. One respectable state was dismembered in the most horrific manner. Bosnia-Hercegovina suffered the worst. She experienced a demographic cataclysm and a social catastrophe. Its tissue was destroyed, and every single Bosnian family was traumatized in one way or another. All essential and characteristic Bosnian-Hercegovinian values were a target of an uncivilized attack. That time of dictatorship and lies isn't over. All of that must be kept in mind when one talks about Milosevic, his accomplices, as well as all those who in any way contributed to the assault of evil that cannot be punished. Despite everything, Nazi-fascist ideologies reawakened in the time after Tito's death remain vital and active in the post-war period. Chetnik and Ustashe ideologies have a lasting effect as parts of political activities and the national (un)conscious. Milosevic is an embodiment of the worst in the political system that could not withstand inherent problems after Tito's death and challenges of the creation of the new international order on the ruins of the USSR and the Warsaw pact. As a politician weaned on the mixture of the misused ideology, bureaucratic willfulness and parasitic attitude with respect to stolen economy, with unscrupulous will to power, Milosevic appeared as a promising hope of the Greater Serbian ideology that had completely imbued and thoroughly changed the character of the Serbian League of Communists. Milosevic also became a political favorite of the Yugoslav People's Army Chiefs of Staff, which was an institutional reflection of the fateful deformation of the order at the time. The Yugoslav People's Army had for decades been practically without any democratic oversight and in the crisis period it quickly transformed from an anti-fascist into a Nazi-fascist formation. It turned out that the leading officers of the YPA suffered from a notable deficiency of Yugoslav patriotism, apart from a few notable exceptions, or turned out to be nothing but camouflaged Greater Serbian ideology. It should not be forgotten that the fear of the leading officers of the YPA for their future was the main motivating factor in this case. Therefore, the encounter of the strivings of the leading YPA officers and Milosevic was fateful. By placing themselves in service of the Greater Serbian ideology, the YPA Chiefs of Staff became a decisive political factor in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. An attempt to come up with a creative solution of the deep crisis in the former Yugoslavia after Tito's death was carried out through market and political reforms that were supposed to lead to a transformation that would complement European tendencies. However, Prime Minister Ante Markovic and his government encountered opposition not only in Serbia and the YPA, which feared any reform, but also in the separatist political leadership in Slovenia and Croatian nationalism that also strove for an independent state. Milosevic was an excellent partner for them. Milosevic's and Serbian radicalism was encouraged both from Ljubljana and Zagreb, especially after the coming of the HDZ and Franjo Tudman to power, while Markovic's program was systematically undermined, which served to cement the conviction in those two states that independence was the only choice and at the same time provided arguments for international lobbying efforts for the recognition of the independence of Slovenia and Croatia. Milosevic also did an excellent job for the Albanians. Thus, Milosevic was a sort of a political mercenary and a pawn in the international game. On the one hand, Milosevic prompted a sort of ideological aversion in the USA, while on the other hand he was appreciated and respected as a politician with the strongest support and military force without match in the former Yugoslavia. It was crucial that the international authorities did not offer political and financial support to the reformist forces, with strengthening of the authority of the UN and NATO. It is possible that some of the factors were motivated by the desire to destroy the YPA, as a respectable regional force, in a war. However, Milosevic gave the key contribution to the promotion of NATO into the UN military arm and to its arrival to the region where it had previously not been present. Milosevic is therefore a criminal who all the time worked for the interests of others, leading the Serb people to the edge of global condemnation. His greatest and bloodiest achievement is the Republic of Srpska as an expression of the international acceptance of the aggression on Bosnia-Hercegovina and genocide committed in her. It is shameful that only now the Hague indictment against Milosevic has been extended to cover his actions in Bosnia-Hercegovina, actions that should constitute a bulk of that indictment.
by Fatmir ALISPAHIC
Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo, Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina, B-H, February 26, 2001
The analysis of terrorist attacks on Bosniak returnees, recently published by the Bosnian-Hercegovinian Patriotic Party [BPS], confirms the vigor of the strategy of anti-Bosnian extremists and reveals the freedom loving silence that has stifled this trend. The unwieldy apparatus of non-governmental organizations, created with the purpose of blowing wind in the sails of democratic changes, is today nailed in the trap of political slavery. No one ordered them to start a campaign for human rights of Bosniak returnees, consequently they are silent. And they do not understand that thereby they are becoming ordinary ideological outposts of the new authorities, just like the SDA had its "Preporod", "Merhamet" etc. If all of that is indeed so, who will then nurture democracy, which is a never-ending endeavor, because it is a fragile process that should always be kept in sight. Especially in the country whose history does not include more than thirty minutes of mature democratic atmosphere. In its analysis, the BPS only skimmed through the daily newspapers; the number of spotted attacks on Bosniak returnees is so high that only those whose indifference is on hire can be left indifferent. Why are all those self-declared fighters for human rights, multiethnicity and Bosnian identity silent? They are very eager when a campaign against mujahedeen from Bocinja is ordered, but they shamelessly keep quiet about systematic persecution and intimidation of Bosniak returnees. This fact as little else deconstructs the deception about the so-called alternative whose speech is full of multiethnic Bosnia, but that speech is not backed up by actions. Essentially, these "circles" do not have the strength to defend Bosnian identity through struggle for equal human rights of all nations in Bosnia-Hercegovina. The strategic terror against Bosniak returnees is a trend that deserves to be investigated, documented, and reacted to. But various "committees" not only do not condemn this terrorist existence, but also refuse, as would be expected, to initiate an investigation whose results would have the effect of applying political pressure on apartheid authorities both on the right and left. What apartheid?! Well, that are the new authorities in Visegrad where those Nazi orgies against imprisoned Bosniaks took place, then in Kosovo Polje were returnees were stoned, and elsewhere where the situation remains miserably unaltered. If the "committees" and "circles" patriotically raised their voices, they would reveal their own garbage swept under the carpet. Some of our distinguished intellectuals believe that the time is not ripe for the creation of a new critical front against the new authorities. Allegedly, the authorities are fragile, shaky, and should not be immediately blasted by criticism. That's what they said about Izetbegovic's authorities as well... If the new authorities at this point do not sympathize with poor Bosniaks who live in fear of pain, why don't they do something for pragmatic reasons? After all, these are their supporters. Who will trust them tomorrow? It is easy to draw a table with the number of attacks on Bosniak returnees and compare it with the number of deaf and mute "democratic institutions". It would be easy to contrast that table with another one, illustrating their reactions in various, sometimes bizarre, occasions. It is easy to prove that something is rotten in this picture book that refers to herself as Bosnia, and is definitely not worthy of that name. What is the answer? Huge funds have ended up in the democratic trough. That is a company owned by foreigners, which finances the good life of various hirelings. Who would deny oneself golden bread for the sake of the truth? Those who pay also give orders. It made sense to believe the truth of democratic intentions while we buried our nationalists. What now? Nationalism is dead but can be revived. It feeds on patriotic and humanitarian hypocrisy of the new authorities. By persistently ignoring the calvary of Bosniak returnees the new authorities are revitalizing the nationalist political discourse. And that makes criticism worthwhile. If it is at all possible to penetrate the hired consciousness of the most recent wise leadership. The faith in the eternal character of power is too strong to respect the idea of correction. Especially because this democratic dictatorship enjoys uncritical support of the OHR and OSCE. The Temporary Election Commission is in charge of the implementation of the "new democracy". In it, carefully selected subjects with decrees destroy in the bud all manifestations of different, rebellious speech. The IMC finishes up the job of reduction and political instrumentalization of the media space. We have been tied up. Welcome, Karadjordje meets Orwel. Consequently, the BPS analysis is a constructive incident in our condemned daily existence.
Controversies in Stolac
Parish Office Demands That Church Be Built On The Spot Of Demolished Mosque
by A. BEHRAM
Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo, Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina, B-H, May 27, 2001
The request of the Islamic Community in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Mostar mufti hajji Seid ef. Smajkic to start reconstruction of the Careva [emperor's] Mosque destroyed during the war in the center of Stolac, is still sharply opposed by the local authorities in the town. The memo sent by Vinko Jerinic, the head of office of Stolac mayor Dr. Zdravko Kuzman, states that in the meantime the Catholic church parish office of St. Ilija [Elijah] in Stolac had sent the request to build on the same location a church! The explanation paraphrased in the letter to the mufti states that "on the location of Careva mosque, in the center of Stolac, before the Ottoman occupation, there was a Catholic Church". The same letter states that "Christian believers, for the sake of religious peace", will not insist on the reconstruction of the Christian church, but if the reconstruction of the mosque begins, "Catholics will demand that a church in Stolac also be rebuilt". The office of the Stolac mayor in its letter to the Mostar mufti states that the Islamic Community should give up its demands for the reconstruction of the mosque in Stolac "... as the war has led to a lot of confusion and immeasurable unease among the residents of the municipality and the town, members of different nations and faiths, these local authorities after a wide-ranging and inclusive debate and after weighing carefully all the relevant factors, took the firm stand that in current political circumstances construction of any religious object in the center of Stolac would be socially inopportune as it could prompt disturbances among the local population". None of the Bosniak representatives in the local authorities in Stolac, as we found out, participated in any "wide-ranging discussions" on this topic. The Stolac Municipal Council (chaired by Kemal Isakovic) also did not deal officially with this topic, which would, according to all applicable legal measures, would be a logical procedure. The letter from the office of the Stolac mayor was also sent to the offices of the High Representative in Sarajevo and Mostar, as well as the OSCE mission and it will be interesting to see the response from these institutions. The office of the Islamic Community in Bosnia-Hercegovina did not want to comment on the letter of the Stolac mayor. The authorized clerk suggested that the decision of the Federation Ministry for Environment dated April 23, 2001, be taken into consideration. That decision authorized the Medzlis of the Islamic Community Stolac and the Association for the Renewal of Civic Trust in the Stolac Municipality to fence off all the plots previously occupied by demolished mosques, including other plots in the Stolac municipality owned by the Islamic Community in Bosnia-Hercegovina. This decision, based on the content of Annex 8 of the Dayton Peace Agreement, was made by the Federation Ministry based on the conclusions of the Federation Government from January 20, 2001, which stipulate the obligation of cantonal and municipal authorities to implement those instructions.
Krajina On Her Knees
by Emir HABUL
Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo, Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina, B-H, May 25, 2001
What does Sarajevo know about the situation in Cazin Krajina? The situation is much more difficult than presented by the media and politicians. The Una-Sana canton has after six months of uncertainty and difficult compromises finally obtained a government, indicating the depth of the political crisis in this part of Bosnia-Hercegovina. However, the local crisis besides the specific local color, is above all motivated by stomach pangs. Poverty is more acute than in other parts of Bosnia-Hercegovina, the Canton is unable to fill its budget on its own, and half of municipalities in the canton could easily declare bankruptcy. The election of the new government only suppressed the political crisis because its causes haven't been removed. In general, the political scene can be divided into supporters of the SDA (Alija [Izetbegovic]) and DNZ (Fikret [Abdic]). Other differences are far less significant. Mentally, this division is present in other parties and divisions affect every household in this region. The scandal "Agrokomerc", which shook up this region in 1987, still hasn't been wrapped up, and the war and transition brought new problems. Out of some 12,000 pre-war employees, currently only about ten percent are working and are being paid very irregularly. Post-war authorities failed in their attempts to start production in the conglomerate or to again employ farmers in the villages of Cazin Krajina, or prevent discrimination based on wartime allegiances, as is confirmed by numerous reports of ombudsmen and non-governmental organizations. The situation in other companies is similar, but "Agrokomerc" is an important symbol in this case. The economic collapse strengthens and nurtures Abdic's legend. The conviction that only he can save the region is becoming increasingly widespread. But, while a half of Krajina would roll out a red carpet for him, the other half would reach for a knife. Perhaps it sounds sacrilegious from the Sarajevo vantage point, but the extradition and possible trial of Fikret Abdic in Bosnia-Hercegovina would not resolve anything. In the current situation any trial would incite new clashes, deepen divisions, and take Abdic straight into legend similarly to Muja Hrnjica, or a local leader from WWII, Husko Miljkovic. The people of this region suffered gravely in the past century and recall painful poverty, and are consequently grateful to those who feed them. The new authorities have not earned expected support here as there are no signs of improvement. Ministries from Sarajevo should be in the field, but they should not arrive empty handed.
Bosniaks and Srpska
by Zija DIZDAREVIC
Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo, Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina, B-H, May 30, 2001
Mladen Ivanic raised the issue of responsibility for the murder of Murat Badic referring only to the actual murderers. It is necessary that they be found and punished, but the circle of those responsible for the most recent outburst of violence in the Republic of Srpska (RS) includes essentially the complete authorities there. But such view is not shared by the memo of the RS government about the security situation which attempts to suppress the truth about the horrors that recently took place in Banja Luka, Trebinje... Badic is a victim of lynch for which the political leadership of RS is fully responsible. The raging crowd wanted much more blood in both Trebinje and Banja Luka. In both cases medzlis, rather than the Police and SFOR, saved all those who were a target of the lynching crowd. The neglect of that detail, unimpressive reactions of international factors and obstruction of the truth by the local authorities have encouraged extremists to renew terror against Bosniak returnees in RS. And the tolerance of Bosniak reprisals would only intensify the spiral of evil. The remark of Wolfgang Petritsch that the recent chauvinist outbursts in Bosnia-Hercegovina are the last feeble attacks by the extreme nationalists is wrong and very dangerous. Because, Brcko, Bijeljina, Banja Luka, Trebinje... only prove the deep roots of the Greater Serbian obsession and readiness to commit new mass crimes. The worst criminals are at large, and the international authorities tolerate almost daily terror against returnees and reaffirmation of Karadzic's followers under the auspices of Prime Minister Ivanic's government. Aversion towards Bosniaks as the most numerous victims of genocide has taken pathological extent. The announcement of a Bosniak veto to the ratification of the treaty regarding special links between RS and FR Yugoslavia has been condemned by the Serb politicians. Zivko Radisic stated that that veto will harm Bosniaks the most, which is an open threat. RS has all the time been wielding veto against the establishment of the Bosnian state, and Bosniaks in RS, despite their utterly humiliating status regarding their basic rights are not even supposed to mention their interests. How long will that Greater Serbian diktat last in Bosnia-Hercegovina?
SFOR Sees No Need For Action in Banja Luka
Srpska Police Held Responsible
by A. PRLENDA
Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo, Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina, B-H, May 8, 2001
On Tuesday, in Sarajevo, SFOR officials repeated their assertions that the local police had the duty to suppress violence in Banja Luka, and the UN mission emphasizes that it demanded from the Police and judiciary in the Republic of Srpska to do everything in their power to find the culprits and prosecute them. Douglas Coffman, UN spokesperson in Sarajevo, stated that the UN officials are holding talks with Police officials in Banja Luka about the work of the Police and identification of the leaders of the organized violence. It was emphasized that a successful investigation would demonstrate that the RS authorities are prepared to support the peace process in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Spokespersons of the UN and SFOR had to respond to numerous unpleasant questions regarding the event in Banja luka. To our question whether the IPTF was satisfied with the measures taken by the local Police in preparation for the event, Coffman stated that it is now clear that the planning for the event was not sufficient and that it needs to be seen why the special Police, which did a good job evacuating the (surrounded) people, was not initially included in the police forces providing security for the event. "The RS Police had more than 400 policemen allocated for this event. This is usually considered to be sufficient for this type of a ceremony. Obviously they underestimated the likely threat to this event. That is without doubt. They had bad intelligence information. In the past there were events where they allocated more policemen for such events and that should be taken into account in the future," he said. "We could talk a lot regarding the events from yesterday. But the essential thing is that the Police would have to work better, to plan better and do better intelligence work in preparation for any future similar ceremony," Coffman added. "But the Police preparation for this ceremony is not the only issue in this case. The ceremony could have been prepared better, in many ways. I hope that all of us will learn something from this". Coffman explained that the special RS police was called to help only after the local Banja Luka police faced troubles. The special Police managed to take all 300 to 400 people from the medzlis of the Islamic Community to safety.
We Are Not Local Police
"The RS Police did some things correctly, and some incorrectly. Crowd control is not a problem only in Bosnia. Police forces all over the world face those problems and all of them have trouble," he emphasized. The SFOR spokesperson, Captain Andrews Coxhead, emphasized that SFOR had troops near Banja Luka, but did not react, as it was assessed that this situation was a Police problem. "It would not be appropriate to prevent Police from fulfilling its obligations. Although this police action was not perfect, they managed to resolve the situation on their own. SFOR would have intervened only in the case Police failed to fully resolve the situation," he stated. "We are not the local police. It's been five years since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement and it's time Police did its job on its own. The more SFOR meddles in such incidents, the less incentive the local police will have to deal with such situations." It is interesting that SFOR in Bosnia-Hercegovina has had for a while a Multinational Special Unit (MSU) which is specially trained and equipped for control of civilian disturbances. This unit has so far reacted on several occasions, and is activated based on orders of the SFOR commander in that region. To our question whether it is believed that the commander of the Multinational Division South-west made a mistake by not ordering the use of the MSU unit, Coxhead responded that "he definitely did not make a mistake", and that the commander makes his decisions based on the assessment of the situation. "The commander in the field can definitely reach that decision. He was with police, in its headquarters and did what he considered to be appropriate. The Police did not do anything smoothly, but it did its best, saved people and resolved the situation. In the end no one was killed." Asked about the role of SFOR in situations when the local police is not up to the situation, Coxhead responded that SFOR makes decisions based on the events and reacts when it considers that to be necessary. "I will not speculate regarding what sort of event would require our reaction," Coxhead stated.
There Was No Ultimatum
Coxhead denied some assertions that SFOR in the field issued the ultimatum to the local Police to disperse the crowd in thirty minutes or let SFOR do it for them. The spokesperson could not answer whether at any time the Police requested SFOR assistance, but he said that they were continuously in touch and that it was assessed that a SFOR intervention was not necessary.
Tempestuous Press Conference
The press conference at times took a rather unpleasant course. TV Hayat journalist Kenan Cerimagic, who was on Saturday a victim of attack in Trebinje, had questions from the spot. "The Hungarian IPTF troops pulled out from the spot after the break out of violence. Would you care to comment?" asked Cerimagic. "We do not have troops, but policemen, but I do not know anything about that," Coffman responded. "One Serb policeman stood besides me while I was beaten, and he laughed. Two Hungarian policemen stood next to him and did nothing. Lars Anders, the IPTF commander in that region, told me that he had no instructions to do anything in case of violence. I asked him what would have happened if someone shot. He said that they could not do anything as their mission is to oversee the work of the local police. When I asked him what would have happened if someone killed us, he said that they could only stand by and observe. Would you care to comment?" "As you know, it is the job of the IPTF to oversee the local police. I would like to get the name of the policeman who did not do his work. If you know his name, please give it to me and I will pass it on". "But all uniformed policemen had removed their badges. Even the one who talked to Anderson removed his badge from the pocket. Consequently, I do not know their names. But that can be seen on the TV footage. Would you care to comment?" "I would definitely condemn that, if that is indeed true. Thank you for that information. I will again watch the footage and we shall take the necessary steps." "A question for SFOR. A half of Spanish troops fled while another half took shelter in a building during the incident. What is the role of SFOR in this country? I think that one of its roles is to provide safe environment?" "We said that many times, and the incident in Trebinje is definitely a Police problem. We insist on that. That is a police problem and in Trebinje the Police did not do its job," Coxhead responded. "I asked you why the Spanish troops found shelter in a building while the members of the presidency were outside. An attack on a member of the presidency is a terrorist act." "I am not aware that any of the SFOR soldiers sought shelter in a building." "Today, you have military training exercises in Glamoc. Don't you think that it is ridiculous to do that in Glamoc, when we have spots like Trebinje and Banja Luka? To whom are you demonstrating your power and courage, when SFOR officers and soldiers drink coffee in Sarajevo and cannot go to Trebinje without armored troop carriers?" "Let me ask you something. Why do you think SFOR is here? Do you think that SFOR is supposed to do the Police work or to prevent new outbursts of clashes between armies in this country?" "But you did not answer my question..."
Serb Nationalists Prevented Laying of Corner Stone for Ferhadija Mosque
Fascism On Streets Of Banja Luka
by Oslobodjenje Team
Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo, Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina, B-H, May 7, 2001
Tens of persons were injured in yesterday's disturbances in Banja Luka, when several thousands of protesters prevented the laying of the corner stone for Ferhadija mosque. Several representatives of international staff, faithful, and, as was officially stated, 19 policemen of the Srpska police are among the injured. About ten buses that had brought the Muslim faithful from different parts of the Federation and several vehicles belonging to SFOR were destroyed in the destructive attacks of the extremists. Several journalists were injured. Demonstrations started somewhat before 10am. At the time when the ceremony was scheduled to start, 11:30am, about 250 persons who had come to attend the ceremony of the laying of the corner stone for the reconstruction of Ferhadija Mosque, including about 30 representatives of the international community and representatives of the Islamic Community and Bosnian officials, as well as the faithful, were pelted by stones, eggs and bottles, and had to withdraw to the building of the medzlis of the Islamic Community. A group of about 200 protesters broke all the windows on the building of the Islamic Community, took off the Muslim flag and burnt it and in its place hung a Serb flag. Two cars that were parked in front of the medzlis building were damaged. A small number of policemen unsuccessfully tried to prevent the raging mob, while the protesters kept breaking through the police cordon. The gathered Bosniaks pulled back, running, to the medzlis building, together with representatives of the international community, including Jacques Paul Klein, chief of the UN mission in Bosnia-Hercegovina, the ambassador of Great Britain in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Graham Hand, ministers Dusana Antelj, Mitar Novakovic, and Fuad Turalic, and the representatives of the OSCE and Office of High Representative. On that occasion Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia-Hercegovina Zlatko Lagumdzija was hit in the head, but was not injured, and his car was demolished. SFOR spokesperson Canadian Captain Andrews Coxhead said that since yesterday at about 7pm the local Police has been evacuating persons surrounded in the Islamic center in Banja Luka, and that SFOR was assisting in their transport to the nearby metal factory. "For now, this is a police problem," we were told at about 5pm by a SFPR spokesperson, American Lieutenant Lars Anderson. "We are carefully monitoring the situation and may use force, if we deem it necessary". Anderson added that SFOR in Bosnia-Hercegovina is not a police force. "It would be inappropriate for us to prevent the police from fulfilling its responsibilities," Anderson said. "This insensitive violence is regrettable," SFOR stated. About fifty Serbs stoned every person or a car that tried to approach the medzlis building. They threw firecrackers, even tear gas, sang nationalist songs and shouted "Serbia" and "Draza Mihailovic". Policemen set up a cordon in front of the protesters, but they continued throwing stones and eggs over their heads at the spot where the corner stone was supposed to be set. A large group of Serbs prevented the landing of SFOR helicopter in front of the Islamic Community building. The helicopter was supposed to evacuate the persons surrounded in the medzlis building. This group overturned two cars with number plates used by the international representatives in Bosnia-Hercegovina and totally demolished them. Several Bosniaks who approached this spot or tried to enter the medzlis courtyard were injured. On entry, even the cars of the representatives of the international community were stoned. About ten buses in which the Muslim faithful had come to Banja Luka were set on fire at about 1pm by a group of Serbs. Fire brigades were prevented by the bullies from approaching the buses and putting out the fire, and dense black smoke could be seen above Banja Luka. Six persons entered the medzlis courtyard, from where they carried away serdzads and set them on fire, while they let a pig in the courtyard and threw in several roasted pig heads. Helicopters flew above Banja Luka; large concentrations of SFOR troops could be seen around the medzlis building, but they did not intervene. According to information provided by the present policemen, at least 19 policemen were lightly injured while groups of Serbs broke through the police cordon which tried to protect Bosniaks approaching the medzlis building from stones. Prime Minister Mladen Ivanic entered the medzlis escorted by the Police, and the president and vice-president of the Republic of Srpska, Mirko Sarovic and Dragan Cavic respectively, and the president of the Srpska parliament, Dragan Kalinic tried at about 2pm to calm down the gathered Serbs. Sarovic stated to the citizens that the organizers had canceled the ceremony of the laying of the corner stone for the Ferhadija Mosque and asked them to peacefully disperse, but his words were greeted by whistles and boos, stones, bottles, and eggs. The crows then again started shouting "Serbia, Serbia", "Karadzic," "Radovan", "Trebinje". Members of the Srpska Police started at about 2pm the evacuation of international and local officials from the Islamic Community building by taking them in groups through the windows of the object and driving them way in a Police van. As the UN mission in Bosnia-Hercegovina spokesperson Douglas Coffman confirmed, the Special Police Forces of Srpska evacuated in the first group about 50 persons, mostly women. It was clear from the early morning that the scenario from Trebinje was to be repeated. Banja Luka was covered by fliers inviting ethnic Serb citizens to gather at 11am at the plateau where the ceremony of the laying of the corner stone was supposed to take place. The text of the flier follows: "Serb brothers, today our city will be attacked by Islamic hordes; with assistance of criminals from Austria-Hungary they will try to again sow the seed of Islam in our city. Come at 11am to the plateau where Ferhadija Mosque used to stand and with your presence express your dissatisfaction with this act." The flier was printed in Cyrillic script and it did not say who the author of the flier was or who was calling on the residents of Banja Luka to join the protests.
Translated on October 9, 2001