For Some, Joy of Peace Tinged by Knowledge War Continues Elsewhere With
For Some, Joy of Peace Tinged by Knowledge War Continues Elsewhere With PM-Yugoslavia-Sarajevo Model
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ For more than two weeks, thousands of Sarajevans have jammed parks, cinemas and theaters, unafraid of Serb gunfire. For some, however, the joy of peace was tinged by the awareness that the war goes on elsewhere in Bosnia.
″These are my last moments of real peace,″ said a 21-year-old Bosnian soldier, who along with two comrades, attended the premiere of Jean-Paul Sartre’s play ″The Wall″ at Kamerni Theater 55.
The soldier, who refused to give his name, said his unit was leaving Sarajevo later Sunday to fight on another front now that the capital is quiet.
″I want to spend my last hours the best I can,″ he said. ″I don’t have the faintest idea where the command will send me, so this might be the last time I see my hometown.″
Although the war in Sarajevo has stopped - at least for now - fighting continues in many areas, including in Maglaj and Olovo to the north and in Bihac to the northwest. It appears both Bosnian Serb and government forces are taking advantage of the Sarajevo cease-fire to pursue the war elsewhere.
Nevertheless, many of the 380,000 residents in this ravaged capital took advantage of Sunday’s peace and unseasonably mild temperatures to spend the day like other Europeans.
Young couples strolled hand in hand along the downtown streets, chatted over coffee in the few cafes still open and lounged about in a park which only a few weeks ago was in the shadow of Serb snipers.
The only seats were on the concrete and stone wall. Last winter, the wooden park benches were used for heating and cooking in wood stoves since natural gas and electricity supplies were curtailed by the war.
At the Kamerni Theater 55, which seats 150, more than 200 people attended ″The Wall,″ directed by Dino Mustafic of the Sarajevo Art Academy.
The audience included U.N. spokesman Maj. Rob Annink; Gen. Jovan Divjak, the deputy commander of the Bosnian Army; and Deputy Foreign Minister Sulejman Suljic.
Two movie houses also opened their doors. Cinema Radnik offered a double feature: Harrison Ford in ″Patriot Games″ and ″Scent of a Woman″ with Al Pacino. Cinema Apollo showed ″Batman 2″ with Michael Keaton.
Admission was two German marks, or about a two months’ salary for most workers. Both cinemas were sold out days in advance.
Others spent the day visiting friends and relatives.
An elderly couple, Osman Mekic, 64, and his wife Sabiha, 55, were hitchhiking along ″Sniper Alley″ on their way home from visiting friends whose son was killed last November.
″Just a week ago, I couldn’t imagine myself walking this road,″ Mrs. Mekic said. ″I wouldn’t walk more than two meters when a Serb sniper would find me.″
Her husband said this was the first time in a year they had dared leave home because of the constant shelling, fighting and sniping. ″Today is a really beautiful day for walking,″ he said.
A few yards away, three members of the Bosnian police special forces unit were eating lunch along a rusted tram track. The tram line was knocked out early in the war in 1992.
″I think that the war for Sarajevo is over,″ said Muhamed Pustahija, 27. ″There are no more shelling and attacks. The Serbs are still shooting civilians with silencers from time to time. But soon that will end as well as the fighting throughout Bosnia.″