Jovan Divjak was arrested by Interpol on a warrant issued by Serbia today. An unbelievable twist on Serbia's ongoing assault against the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the bogus warrant for Ejup Ganic was shown to be completely politically motivated, I was hoping this type of behavior wouldn't be repeated in the future, how wrong was I?
Jovan Divjak is a true multicultural hero of Bosnia. Not just for his role as the highest ranking member of the JNA to defect and defend Bosnia during the war. Or the fact that he chose as a Bosnian Serb, to defend multiculturalism when so many of his contemporaries chose the option, might is right.
When Divjak joined the Bosnian government forces they were in dire shape, poorly organized, poorly trained and equipped without a clear mandate except to try and protect the civilian population and the capital Sarajevo. It would have been much easier for him to stay in the JNA and to transfer to the Serbian VRS (the successor the the JNA inside of Bosnia).
He was a thorn in the side of Bosnian Serb propaganda from the beginning of the war. It is hard to call the Bosnian government fanatics and jihadists when the army is led by a Bosnian Serb. To many radical forces aligned to the war criminals in the VRS and SDS Jovan Divjak was the ultimate traitor who made there illusions impossible to believe except for the most evil and ignorant among us.
The accusations against him are absurd, the convoy of JNA troops that were attacked in Sarajevo were attacked by Bosnian army soldiers that were involved in heavy fighting the previous days as Serbian tanks had attacked into the city and came within 50 meters of the Bosnian presidency. These JNA soldiers were involved in a three pronged attack aimed at taking the city. The negotiations that Divjak was involved with did not mention anything about letting a convoy of JNA soldiers out of the city. He did everything in his power to stop the ambush but at that time the army was poorly organized. The Bosnian army units leader involved in this fighting has since died and cannot be held accountable. This is payback by the Serbs to a "traitor" to the Serbian people plain and simple as that.
He is actually a hero to the Serbian people, showing that there are courageous among them, that not all Serbs are "leaders" like Milosevic, Karadzic,Arkan Mladic and Dodik who deserve a seat behind bars more than a seat at the head of the table.
Jovan Divjak advocated total defense stragedy of defending all of Bosnia on the Drina and Sava riverbanks (the natural borders of BiH). His and others defense philosophy were interrupted by political interference in the internal affairs of the Bosnian army. Some political leaders looked upon him with suspicion because of his Serbian roots (even though it is a known fact that some Bosnian Muslim leaders were secret double agents of KOS, the Serbian intelligence network, hedging there bets against a loss by the Bosnian forces or just to line there pockets with cash). Divjak's commitment to Bosnia was never in question, even in the most difficult of circumstances, like when warlords in the capital shot his son or the death threats against him and his family. Increasingly isolated and ignored by the more radical, fundamentalist members of the Bosnian government he was more and more a figurehead as the Bosnian war became more of a international political tool than a war of liberation for the politicians. Thru all the hard times and turbulence you never had to question Divjaks commitment to Bosnia and it's people.
After the war he became the face of the child victims of this terrible war and there spokesperson. General Divjak started Education Builds Bosnia and Herzegovina, an organization that has spent the past 15 years supporting and providing scholarships for children who had lost one or both parents in the war. A documentary was made about his humanitarian work called Uncle Jovo Rocks.
I was invited to a book signing and commemoration by my good friend Saudin Becirevic (rest in peace friend) but I could not attend. Instead I sent my best friend in Sarajevo Edin to be there instead, at the memorial he had the chance to meet General Divjak and it was what you could expect from such a great man of history, gracious and kind. The world needs more leaders like Jovan Divjak and I am proud to say I know him and can call him a friend not only to the people of Sarajevo and Bosnia but a friend of the entire world.
The world needs more Uncle Jovo's.
You can join his organization and support the children of BiH with a donation at the following website...
Also a link to an interview with General Divjak in 1996