Balkans | 31 years have passed since the siege of Sarajevo

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Balkans |  31 years have passed since the siege of Sarajevo

Sarajevo, the capital, which was attacked by Serbs for nearly 4 years during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, continues to make history by hosting one of the longest sieges.

While barricades were erected throughout Sarajevo on 5 April 1992 by Serbian forces, the bombing of the city on 6 April caused the 1,425-day siege to turn into massacres.

And in Sarajevo, which witnessed the longest siege in history, 11 thousand 541 people were lost, 1601 of whom were children, and the city fell at a rate of 329 mortar shells per day.

Although 31 years have passed, the people of Sarajevo have not forgotten what happened, and memorial ceremonies for the victims who lost their lives in the massacres are still taking place in the capital.

The first victims of the Siege of Sarajevo

While the European Union (EU) approved the independence of Slovenia and Croatia on January 15, 1992, it provided for a referendum on independence for Bosnia and Herzegovina. After that, Bosnia and Herzegovina decided to hold a referendum on independence in February 1992.

After Bosnia and Herzegovina became an independent country in the referendum of March 1, 1992, on April 5, 1992, preparations for a siege began in Sarajevo by Serbian forces, and barricades were erected throughout the city.

Serb snipers killed two civilians, Sawada Delberovic and Olga Susic, in Sarajevo on April 5, carrying out the first attack, which marks the beginning of the siege.

Serb forces also directly targeted civilians in their attack on 5 April, while many were injured when they opened fire on Sarajevo during an anti-war demonstration.

The Serbs deployed in the hills around Sarajevo with a siege of 13,000 soldiers, and from there they attacked with heavy and light weapons and besieged the city. In response, the Bosnian State Defense Forces (Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina-ARBiH) created an army of 70,000 people in the besieged city within 19 months. But this army did not have enough equipment and was not able to break through the blockade.

Sarajevo remained under siege until February 29, 1996.

The bloody war in Bosnia and Herzegovina ended on November 21, 1995 at Dayton Air Force Base in Ohio, USA with the consent of the Bosnian, Serb and Croatian parties.

The Dayton Peace Treaty was initialed by the late Alija Izetbegović, the first President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, and former Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, at the initiative of American diplomat Richard Hallbroek.

One date different milestones

Described as the “European Jerusalem” due to the fact that it contains different religions, Sarajevo has witnessed a series of turning points throughout history on the 6th of April.

During World War II, Sarajevo was bombed by Nazi Germany on April 6, 1941. As a result of the operation launched by the former Yugoslav army against the occupying forces, it was liberated from enemy occupation on the same day, 4 years later. , on April 6, 1945.

During World War II, 10,961 people from Sarajevo perished, including 7,092 Jews.

Sarajevo was attacked again on April 6, 1992. This time, the city was bombed by Serbian forces and was under siege for 1,425 days.

While this day is celebrated as Sarajevo City Day marking the liberation of the capital from Nazi occupation on April 6, the victims of the Siege of Sarajevo are also commemorated on that day due to its heavy meanings.

Kemal Hungalic, one of the former mayors of Sarajevo, academic Kemal Hungalic, winner of the Sarajevo City Day Award, which is traditionally given every year, reminded Anadolu Agency that Sarajevo was liberated from Nazi occupation on April 6, 1945, and said, the city was attacked and massacres began. He said.

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