Prisoners of a peace accord

Nadan Hadzic on the ethnic divisions still holding Bosnia-Herzegovina back

The World Today
3 minute READ

Nadan Hadzic

Sarajevo-born researcher and writer on issues connected to the Yugoslav wars

Lana is a 22-year-old pharmacy student living in Dobrinja, a small neighbourhood on the outskirts of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Dobrinja was built in preparation for the 1984 Winter Olympic Games held in Sarajevo.

Less than a decade on from the international acclaim of the Olympics, the world’s attention once again returned to Sarajevo, but for more depressing reasons. As Lana leaves her flat on the way to her university in central Sarajevo, the bullet marks dotting the high-rise buildings are evidence of the scars of her country’s recent history.

And when she reaches the bottom of her road, Bosnia-Herzegovina’s undercurrent of ethnic division is laid bare. From here on in, Lana does not have the right to receive medical treatment, nor does she once she arrives at her university clinic in Sarajevo.

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