Sarajevo Marks War Anniversary

Posted April 6th, 2012 at 6:15 am (UTC-5)
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Sarajevo's main street is lined with 11,541 red chairs – one chair for every man, woman and child killed in a war that broke out 20 years ago.

Bosnians Friday marked the 20th anniversary of the start of the 1992-1995 war that drove millions – about half of the population – from their homes.

On April 6, 1992 Bosnians, Serbians and Croats, poured into Sarajevo's main square to demand peace and freedom. But the three ethnic groups soon turned on each other and Sarajevo fell under a siege that lasted 44 months.

Sarajevo resident Miralem Simcevic said Friday it is hard to think back to that time, “but the most important thing is that we somehow lived through it, and we are now enjoying our freedom.”

A U.S.-brokered peace accord ended the war in 1995 but Bosnia remains split among the three ethnic groups. It now lags behind other former Yugoslav republics in achieving European Union membership.

The International Court in The Hague is still prosecuting war criminals including ex-Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic.

Mladic is being tried for his alleged role in the siege of Sarajevo and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed.