The Refugee Crisis

Muslim refugees. Srebrenica, July 1995.

One of the biggest and most tragic migrations of peoples since World War II is being experienced by the states that arose on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. According to unverified information, on the territory of the former joint state, about 2.3 million people have been left without a home and a roof over their heads.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees warns that because of the consequences of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Croatia, Europe will be flooded with refugees and the homeless over the next 10 years, even if the war ends.

When the first exiles came to the Slovene border, it was a tragedy. Now, when a wave of more than 2 million refugees is rolling toward Europe from the former republics of the former Yugoslavia, it is all still just a bare statistic, which politicians perceive as a nightmare, while Europe is shedding crocodile tears of despair and—what else—putting up a high wall, which is supposed to be bigger and stronger than the Berlin wall, to keep its territory from being flooded by Balkan refugees and Balkan filth.

The figure of more than 2.3 million refugees, however, includes children, women, the aged, the sick, and the wounded. It is more than 2 million personal tragedies of people who have lost everything—a roof over their heads, land, homes, their families, and their neighbours. Before the war, Sarajevo had half a million inhabitants, and today only about 200,000 are still vegetating in it. There were 40,000 people living in Gorazde, and today there are supposed to be only 10,000 still in that Bosnian city—assuming that they are still alive.

Fifty-seven new “cities” have arisen, in which more than 100,000 people are experiencing the horrors of concentration camps. These are camps in all parts of Bosnia under Serbian control and in Serbia itself—in mines in Aleksinac, in Stara Gradiska, and in the Omarska mine. The river of refugees is spreading throughout Bosnia—from Foca and Zvomik people fled to Gorazde, which turned into a city overnight in terms of the number of inhabitants, and into a tomb in terms of the quality of life.

Those who did not flee ended up as prisoners inside the fence of the aluminium factory in Karakaj, where one of the concentration camps is located. Some are fleeing to Mostar, and others are fleeing from Mostar, some are fleeing themselves, and others are being resettled by forces, in order to cleanse the area ethnically. Ethnically pure areas have thus emerged on the territory of all of Podrinje, from which Serbs have forcibly relocated the Muslim and Croatian inhabitants—those who survived the massacres, obviously.

The self-styled state of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina has already been cleansing Bosanska Krajina (Banja Luka, Bihac, Gazin, Prijedor, and other cities) for months now. The victims are non-Serbian inhabitants, without exception.

In Banja Luka, an Office for the Resettlement of the Non-Serbian Population has been established and registered. They are thus achieving the basic goal of the war on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina: the emergence of ethnically pure territories with a Serbian population. The Croats are being relocated to western Herzegovina, and the Muslims have only been left an area in central Bosnia, in the valley of the Bosna River.

Sarajevo is also being ethnically cleansed. The occupiers have already driven out almost all the non-Serbian inhabitants from Grbavica, since according to Karadzic’s “cartography” Grbavica is part of “Serbian” Sarajevo. The non-Serbian inhabitants of this part of Sarajevo can leave peacefully and without all their property—only under the condition that they pay from 2,000 to 5,000 German marks (DM).

Otherwise, death comes, since all this is not just a matter of statistics, but also the finance ministry of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Radovan Karadzic claims that he will thus collect DM30 to DM50 million for the treasury of his new state.

Adapted from a Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) report, August 1992. Published under a Creative Commons license. Screenshot courtesy of the BBC. All rights reserved.