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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2005, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Voices from Mostar
First broadcast October 2005

In November 1995, the Dayton Peace Accord finally brought the Bosnian war to an end. Ten years on, BBC's Allan Little and Peter Burdin revisit those who shared their experiences with them during and just a the very end of a 1,000-day siege of Sarajevo.

Ten years ago, Allan Little and Peter Burdin produced a Sony Award-winning series about some of those who'd survived the war in Bosnia. Alan Little resided in Bosnia during the conflict, and as a result of his experiences and a great interest in the region he wrote one of the definitive books on the Balkans War - The Death Of Yugoslavia.

In this three-part series Allan and Peter give us a glimpse into the minds and thoughts of individuals who shared their experiences of the war ten years ago, and try to discover how Bosnians have managed to deal with their traumas and cope with the continuing persistence of war inflicted memories, as well as the consequences of the conflict on their country.

Part Two: Mostar

Mostar is best known for its shiny white arched cobalt bridge - built in the 14th century by the Ottomans. This Unesco-protected arch was destroyed during the war, but it rose again to symbolise a basic conception about this country - that of bridge-building between religions, ethnic groups, friends and even enemies.

During the Balkans conflict, some of the most vicious fighting took place in the town of Mostar. The predominantly Croat west river bank was "clensed" of Bosniaks, who were forced to flee to the predomianantly Bosniak east river bank.

More than 30,000 Muslims were forced out of their homes by Croat soldiers. They then suffered nine months of shelling as they huddled in basements with little food and no running water - completely ensnared by hostile forces.

Peter Burdin and Allan Little went to Mostar in 1995 to meet the survivors of that siege. At the time they met two remarkable children who had lived through the war and were presenting a weekly radio show for other children of the siege of Mostar. 13-year-old Alem and 11-year-old Mirad were doing this as part of a Unicef programme to help traumatised children come to terms with the horrors they had witnessed during the war.

Ten years later Peter and Allan returned to Mostar to try and find what happened to those two remarkable young boys.


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SEE ALSO
In pictures: Mostar bridge reopens
23 Jul 04 |  In Pictures


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