For peace in Bosnia
Dangerous job - peacekeepers in Bosnia
Members of the American negotiating team have lost their
lives on Igman Mount, and this is yet another in the series
of accidents taking place throughout the war in former
Bosnia-Herzegovina. Members of the negotiating missions,
peace mediators, diplomatic representatives, officials,
employees and soldiers of the United Nations are often the
target of attacks of the warring sides.
In view of the fact that the representatives of the
international community have most often traveled to Sarajevo,
the major number of incidents and attacks was recorded in and
around this city. Incidents in Sarajevo were often coinciding
with the time of visits of the representatives of the
international community which is leaving place for doubts
that some of them were not random occurrences.
On the road across the Igman Mount, where the Americans have
lost their lives, several months ago a similar accident has
happened. In mid-March this year, in a road accident nine
French soldiers have died and four were injured, while their
vehicle overturned and crushed into the abyss.
This road, linking Muslim part of Sarajevo with the other
territories under the Croat-Muslim federation control, is
often used by the members of the peace forces. It is a
mountain road which is not secured and its use depends on
Near Sarajevo, a fire baptism was also experienced by other
negotiators. Peace mediator of the European Union for former
Yugoslavia Carl Bildt, during his very first visit to
Sarajevo experienced this "baptism in fire". Bildt was shot
at on two occasions, at the moment when he was leaving
Sarajevo. The UN officials did not give precise data as to
from were the shots were fired and who had done it. Recently,
fire was opened on the car of Xavier Solana, Spanish
diplomate when he came to Sarajevo.
The fate of the soldiers of the peace forces is a special
chapter of this dark chronicle. From the beginning of war in
former Yugoslavia, according to the official data, a total of
164 members of the peace forces have lost their lives, and
over one thousand was wounded. Serbian side is underlining
that not one peace keeper was killed by Serbs and neither has
anyone perished in the territory of the Republic of Srpska.
Eric Moro and Frederick Mode were the first members of the
UNPROFOR to be killed in former Bosnia-Herzegovina. According
to the official reports, they were killed from a Muslim
ambush in Sarajevo on August 8, 1992.
In early September the same year Muslims have shot down an
Italian helicopter in the region of Konjic. No one of the
helicopter crew, which was carrying humanitarian aid, has
Muslims have also on June 1, 1993 near Novi Travnik, killed
and robbed Fabio Moreni and Guido Pulti, drivers of the truck
and the same fate had befallen Paul Gudak driver of the UNHCR
who was captured by Muslims on June 28th in Zenica and later
By the end of 1992 Philip Maurillion was forced to protest
with Alija Izetbegovic because of the attack on the UNPROFOR
Command in Sarajevo. The artillery attack on the Command
headquarters was continued two days in a row.
During his visit to the site on Dinara Mount, Croat forces
have attacked the Commander of the blue helmets for the
Sector South Roistislaw Kotil and his associates. The
peace-keepers because of the strong artillery fire were
forced to throw themselves on the ground and remain there for
In May 1994 the Commander of the peace forces in Bosnia,
British General Michael Rose was also attacked. Sniper fire
missed Rose by 15 centimeters only and this at the moment
while he was talking with two Serbian soldiers. Serbian
soldiers immediately lied down and general asked them why
they have done so. Instead of the answer they asked him why
he did not do the same and Michael Rose replied: "I am a
general and no one should be allow to shoot at a general".
Further to the attacks, the blue helmets were losing lives in
traffic accidents but also in mutual disputes. After the
investigation, the UN officials in February this year
reported that one of the Finish observers was killed by his
colleague from Nigeria. On the body of the Finish captain
found on the banks of Drina river near Rogatica, traces of
violence were found and it is assumed that death was caused
by a blow on the head with a blunt object.
Two French "Mirage" aircrafts were hit by mistake with two
100 millimeter missiles near the base of Canadian blue
helmets in Visoko in January this year. In the shelling no
one was hurt and one truck was destroyed and a civilian bus.