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Inside Bosnia

Traveling those wo weeks in Bosnia I have the chance to meet local journalists, NGOs workers and of course my hosts were a valuable sources of information.

Meeting Eldina near the famous Holiday Inn, she lived in Sarajevo during the war and covers the news for German newspapers and TV

Torn across ethnic lines

Bosnia applied for EU membership over 20 years ago and is still waiting. The major reason is the split that still runs across the country. A clear example of this division is the Bosnian government itself,  a presidium made up three presidents,  Begovic, a Bosniak, Ivanic, a Serb and  Jovic, a Croatian. They each have their advisors, offices, staff and rotate every  8 months. The result is an expensive, immensely bloated administration of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzogovina and the Republica Srpska. Every documents is translated from Bosnian to Croatian and Serbian, although the three languages are almost identical and understood across ethnic lines.


many building are still in ruins, mostly those where ownership in dispute




bullets turned in to souvenirs


Highschool in Travnik, the neatly renovated section in blue is for the Croatian students, fenced off from the section for the Muslim students, full of graffiti, badly equipped. What a way to make young people feel discrimination first hand

Corruption and lacking Human Rights

Corruption thrives I was told me that the spring of the Bosna was sold to investors, which means that access to water was passed over to foreign investors.

Another worry is the increasing influence of Salafists from abroad taking over villages and that eventually these people gain the right to vote in Bosnia.

The Pride Parade was attacked in the past and the people participating called sick, another sign that the country has long way to go in terms of Human Rights

The average monthly income of pensioners is €150 retirement while cars of ministers have priority over ambulance and firefighters and all this has not led to major protests. One reason could be citizens fear the consequences, university professors have threatened students not to participate in demonstrations.

Another story is the one about the certificates some people received those for participating in the war, each worth 20.000 Marks, but they did not get anything for it. So smart business people bought the for 500 Mark. With those certificates the bought businesses that were run-down on purpose and then bought with these certificates from the government who had issued those certificates.

Alma and Heidi at the office of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Sarajevo, one of 400 NGO in Sarajevo

Almost 400 NGOs mingle with local politics in Sarajevo and another group is very present, Turkish students, who attend private universities in Bosnia.



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