Thursday, January 19, 2012

(19) Bosnia twenty years later a member of UNPFOFOR from Velika Kladusa

(Velika Kladusa)

1) Were did you first hear of Bosnia and and Sarajevo
- I was posted with 2 Combat Engineer Regiment (Canada) and we were heading of to Croatia (Krajina) with UNOROFOR and our other troop was heading for Bosnia.
2) Do you remember where were you when the war broke out
- I was currently doing my basic training when we heard of this place called Bosnia.

3) What made you go to Bosnia during the war
- We were next to go over on the rotation in 1996. I was asked if i wanted to deploy earlier than the other troops. This was January 1996.

4) The most memorable event of the war for you was?
- Losing one of our Sappers to an accident in our camp.

5) What made you hopeless during the war?
- Watching all the refugees in a camp just outside Velika Kladusa and seeing what they were living in.

6) What gave you hope during the war?
- All the persons  returning to their homes and thanking us (Canadian Soldiers for being there.)

7) Did you lose anyone close to you during the war?
- Yes fellow Sappers from 2 Combat Engineer Regiment.

8) Were you wounded during the war? Where were you wounded?
- No. Just have the good ole PTSD like the rest of the troops from being over there.

9) Your biggest loss during the war was?
- Losing our fellow comrades. And being able to assist in ways we wanted to help.

10) What was the hardest part about the war?
- Standing and watching and not being able to stop the crimes being committed. UN mandate at that time was bullshit.

11) Did you leave the country during the war?

12) 20 years later, what do you think of what happened?
- The world just watched as genocide was happening and was worse than WW2. The UN wa a joke while we were there. And the weapons embargo against them pretty much killed them slowly.

13) Are things better or worse than what you expected 20 years later?
- From watching TV and reading about Bosnia, it seems like they just want to move on and become part of Europe. I think something will happen again in the near future.

14) Do you think war will return to BiH?
- Yes. The locals tell us that they will never forget what has happened. People will never forget that their families were murdered by their neighbors all because their great great grandfather killed their great great grandfather over 80-100 years ago during different wars. There is numerous individuals within the Serb community/government still want war and as soon as the European Peacekeeping force leaves, then war may perhaps return. People have very good memories and will never ever forget.

15) What do you think the future of BiH will be?
- I really hope BiH finds the peace they deserve. They have seen so much war, death and destruction and now they are rebuilding their beautiful country to what it was prior to the civil war. I myself will return just to see how much has changed and of course to drink their pivo.

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