The Siege of Sarajevo: 20 Years Later

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Bosnian Muslim woman, Munira Subasic, survivor of Srebrenica genocide in 1995, watches a video of warcrime fugitive, Ratko Mladic, broadcasted by Bosnian Television, in Sarajevo, on June 1 (ELVIS BARUKCIC/AFP/Getty)

Twenty years ago today, Serb militants opened fire on thousands of peace demonstrators in Sarajevo, the Muslim-led capitol city of the newly independent state of Bosnia-Hercegovina. The attack set off what would become the longest siege of a capitol city in modern warfare — lasting from April 5, 1992 to February 29, 1996. Over the course of those years, thousands of civilians in the city died from injuries and starvation, and the world was introduced to the term “ethnic cleansing.”

Nadja Halilbegovich was born and raised in Sarajevo, and still has mortar in her body from the days of the siege. When she was 14, she wrote “My Childhood Under Fire: A Sarajevo Diary.” When she was 16, she escaped and settled in North America, leaving her family behind.

Barbara Demick is the author of "Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood," which hits bookstores this month. She’s also the Beijing bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times. She joins us from Sarajevo.


Barbara Demick and Nadja Halilbegovich

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [3]

fahim from multan

Asalam u Alicom
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Sep. 20 2012 08:06 AM
Daniel from ny

the most scary part is that under the surface, al the hate and frustration of the different groups is still there. In addition to that Bosnia has one of the worst economies of all Europe, with a 40% unemployment at the present time.

Apr. 08 2012 09:40 PM
Ed from Larchmont

One can recall the messages from our Lady of Mejugorge starting in 1983 or so to six children, the messages are still received once a month by one or two of the (now grown) children today.

Apr. 05 2012 07:18 AM

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