Hundreds of people marched on Sunday through the streets of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in solidarity with the people of Palestine amid the relentless genocidal war of Israel on the Gaza Strip.
Even though the protesters were met with rain and harsh weather conditions, the protest rally which took place in Sarajevo’s Bascarsija district, continued without any trepidation.
Carrying Palestinian flags and placards calling for liberation, the protesters chanted slogans against occupation and the killing of children.
On a large banner, it was written, “Palestine, you are not alone, Bosnia is always with you.” Any person aware of the history, while reading the message would recall the horror of the ordeal the Bosnian Muslims had to go through during the massacres carried out by Serb soldiers in the 1990s.
The Bosnian conflict erupted in 1992 after the former Yugoslavia broke up and Serbs launched a rebellion and a land grab to form their state and join Serbia.
More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed in the eastern town of Srebrenica alone in July 1995. Dutch peacekeeping troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing some 2,000 men and boys on July 11.
Among the 15,000 residents of Srebrenica who fled to the surrounding mountains, around 6000 Bosniak males were separated by Serb troops from their wives, mothers, and sisters. They were chased through woods around Srebrenica and eventually hunted down.
Serb soldiers dumped the victims’ bodies in numerous mass graves scattered around the eastern town in an attempt to hide evidence of the crime.
Safija Tadefi, one of the organizers, told the media that their objective was to raise awareness and pay tribute to the Palestinians who lost their lives in the attacks of the Israeli forces.
“We want to point out the catastrophic situation in Palestine. We want to call for a ceasefire, and an end to genocide, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing. This is the third peaceful walk that we have organized and each time we hope that there will be no need for the next one. Unfortunately, every two to three weeks we are obliged to organize a peaceful walk and show that the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are with the people of Palestine”, said Safija Tadefi addressing the reporters.
She urged everyone living in more influential countries, especially in the USA, to “raise their voices and put pressure on their governments to stop the genocide in Gaza.”
The protesters gathered in front of Sebilje fountain in Baščaršija and walked in lines towards the center of Aria, where a humanitarian bazaar was organized, Sarajevo Times reported.
“We are cooperating with the organization Human Appeal, which currently has its people on the ground in Gaza. We were able to deliver several food packages. We are working on collecting donations so that we can get waterproof tents and deliver them to Gaza. We have a humanitarian bazaar, there will be a sale of cakes and other small things, and everyone is welcome,” Tadefi said.
At least 22,835 people have been killed – including 9,600 children – in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. Additionally, 58,300 individuals are injured, and 7,000 individuals are missing under the rubble, and are most likely thought dead.