The city of Sarajevo, rich in history, was the scene of a terrifying civil war from 1992 to 1995.
Thirty years ago, on April 5, 1992, the city of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina was besieged by Bosnian Serbs. Reports from our archives testify to the history of this European city, a symbol of cultural integration, then to the bitter aftermath of a civil war that stretched over four years.
Before the war broke out, the city of Sarajevo was the pride of Bosnia and Herzegovina – the former republic of Yugoslavia – for its rich history and the resulting cultural mosaic. Orthodox Serbs, Bosnian Muslims and Catholic Croats lived there together in apparent harmony.
In the eyes of the whole world, Sarajevo was also the modern and vibrant city that hosted the 14th Olympic Games in winter in 1984.
On the eve of the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, journalist Jean Pagé presents the history of this multicultural city.
On the eve of the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, the journalist Jean Pagé also drew up the history of this city of 500,000 inhabitants, the second largest and the third in importance in Yugoslavia.
Everything is history in Sarajevo, says Jean Pagé in this report. Every street corner, every building recalls the past of this city which is located on the road between East and West, at the crossroads of the world.
The city of Sarajevo preserves traces of the Roman, Celtic and Slavic civilizations which were linked there, then of the Byzantine era which exerted a strong influence on the way of life of the local population. The Sarajevo sky is dotted with minarets.
The Turkish period was succeeded in 1878 by the Austro-Hungarian Empire with a new way of living and building in the European style. This occupation will lead to an event that has changed the history of the world.
On June 28, 1914, the Serbian revolutionary Gavrilo Princip assassinated in a street of Sarajevo the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, Crown Prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
In reaction to this terrorist attack, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. It was the outbreak of the First World War.
At the end of the Great War, Yugoslavia gained its independence, then experienced Nazi occupation in 1941, before falling under Communist rule after the Second World War.
An autonomous Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence on March 3, 1992 and was recognized as an independent state by the international community.
But the memory of Gavrilo Princip continues to divide the peoples who – after having managed to live together harmoniously for decades – will tear each other apart again in a terrible civil war.
War s falls on the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina on April 5, 1992 as the Serbian army – which opposes the breakup of Yugoslavia – begins a blockade on the city.
This siege of more than 1000 days, the longest in the history of modern warfare, quickly turns into a real slaughter that sows terror in the population.
Returning from Sarajevo, correspondent Jean-Michel Leprince talks with host Solveig Miller about the horrors of the civil war whose he was a witness.
During the four years of this conflict, a few Radio-Canada journalists traveled to Sarajevo. They brought back nightmarish images and stories.
In the Téléjournal of June 11, 1992, three months after the start of hostilities, correspondent Jean-Michel Leprince testifies in particular to what he saw in Sarajevo.
The inhabitants of Sarajevo, he explains to the host Solveig Miller, are hostages of the daily battles which oppose the Serbs to the Croatian and Muslim separatists.
They have no means of defending themselves from snipers in the heights of the city who target vehicles like pedestrians circulating on the main arteries of the Bosnian capital.
The Serbian artillery also bombarded symbolic or simply administrative buildings: the national library, the central post office, the schools, the sports facilities left by the holding of the Olympics…
Then the Muslim Sarajevans are evicted from their homes by the Serbs.
The UN is now providing humanitarian aid to this beleaguered population. However, it does not intervene militarily in this war started on ethnic and religious grounds. /2022-04-01_16_35_19_ARCHIVESWEB_0001_01.jpeg” media=”(min-width: 0px) and (max-width: 99999px)”/>
Report by Frédéric Nicoloff on the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the siege of Sarajevo. The news bulletin is presented by Azeb Wolde-Giorghis.
This report made for the Téléjournal of April 6, 2012 at the time of the 20th anniversary of the siege of Sarajevo provides a brief summary of this civil war that stretched over 44 months. The worst war that Europe has known since the Second World War, underlines the host Azeb Wolde-Giorghis.
In Sarajevo, director Haris Pasovic coordinated the installation of 11,541 red chairs on one of the capital's most important streets to commemorate each of the city's residents who lost their lives in this conflict.
Only we know what we've been through. We who lived through the siege of the city, says a Sarajevian who lost his young son during the war. For others, it's unimaginable.
Journalist Frédéric Nicoloff recalls that passers-by had become living targets in the sights of the Serbian soldiers who surrounded Sarajevo, in addition to the numerous bombardments which destroyed 80% of the city.
A the most significant being undoubtedly that of the central market of Sarajevo, on February 5, 1994, in the middle of Saturday noon, which left 68 dead and nearly 200 injured.
The war ended in 1995 with the Srebrenica massacre, a genocide in which 8,000 Muslim men were killed by the Serbian army.
The former military leader of the Serbs in Bosnia Ratko Mladic and their political leader Radovan Karadzic would later be charged with crimes against humanity and genocide before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Report on the Dayton accords ending the siege of Sarajevo. The first report shows the signing of the peace treaty in Paris with journalist Michel Morin. Correspondent Don Murray's second report looks at the reaction of Sarajevo residents. The newscast is hosted by Michèle Viroly.
The US-brokered Dayton Peace Accords end the siege of Sarajevo when signed in Paris December 14, 1995.
The most important armed conflict of the last fifty years in Europe – the war in Bosnia – has officially ended, at least on paper, announces host Michèle Viroly that evening on Téléjournal .
The report by Paris correspondent Michel Morin shows the Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian presidents seated at the same table to sign the peace treaty.
The American and French presidents as well as the German chancellor and the British prime minister then affix their signatures, hoping that the 200,000 dead and 2.5 million refugees are now a thing of the past, says the journalist.
The Dayton Accords confirm the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina and establish a new sharing of political power. The country is now divided into two entities: the Serbian Republic and the Croat-Muslim Federation, which includes Sarajevo.
In his speech, US President Bill Clinton invites Bosnians to seize the chance for peace.
Correspondent Don Murray is in a cafe in Sarajevo, where the event was attended by the few customers on site who timidly clapped as the signing took place.
Their sense of relief is tempered by the doubt that peace can last, explains the journalist . A doubt fueled by three years of war, anger and bitterness.
In December 1995, the team of the program Le Point presents a series of reports on the reconstruction, psychic and physical, of the city of Sarajevo and its inhabitants .
Report by Jean-François Lépine on the situation in Sarajevo and the reconstruction project following the peace agreements ending the siege.
On the December 27, 1995 broadcast, the journalist Jean-François Lépine wonders if Sarajevo can once again become the multi-ethnic capital desired by the Dayton agreements.
How, after killing each other, will neighbors from different ethnic and cultural groups be able to live together again and get out of hell? Since the Dayton Accords, they have lived divided in neighborhoods controlled by enemy armies. is back to running on Snipper Alley, marking the return to an almost normal routine.
But the Sarajevans who stayed and are trying to start living again as before are mostly unemployed or working without receiving a salary.
At the market, the counters are well stocked and the prices are lower than ever. Those who buy receive money from abroad or sell their goods for cash, says a butcher in Markale Square.
For any normal activity to resume here, it will first be necessary to rebuild, observes Jean-François Lépine. Municipal authorities estimate the cost of essential reconstruction at $1 billion, which includes commercial buildings, universities, hospitals and the water system in particular.
Then, beyond buildings destroyed and infrastructure to be rebuilt, there are above all four years of lost life to make up for, says the journalist, whether for companies that have to start from scratch, for public administration or for children and young people. young people deprived of school.
Report by Jean-François Bélanger who collects the testimony of a family from Sarajevo at the end of the war.
In this other report from the Point of December 27, 1995, journalist Jean-François Bélanger meets a family who went through this fratricidal war. Four years of horror, famine, disappointed hopes, he underlines in the introduction to his report.
Soon after the siege of Sarajevo, the father had to leave home to defend the city militarily. The previously well-heeled family then found themselves without a salary and without access to their savings, as local banks were closed.
Since their accommodation was located very close to a stadium and an avenue targeted by Serb gunmen, they felt surrounded. We were prisoners, we had no food, we couldn't get out, says the mother.
At the foot of their residential tower, the residents have planted cabbages that grow in the snow. These improvised gardens which replace the grass in the parks were very often the only way to get fresh vegetables during the war.
Then it was around the son to be mobilized by the army and having to leave his mother and sister for the last two years of the siege. I'm 20 years old, but I feel like I'm 40 or 50, he confides to journalist Jean-François Bélanger.
Before, we did not differentiate between people. My grandmother is Croatian and my grandfather is Muslim, he explains to the journalist.
We are not savages, we are Europeans, the young man declares painfully Sarajevian. The same could happen to anyone.
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