Bosnia and Herzegovina/Yugoslavia: Treatment of Christian Serbs in Sarajevo; current status of Christian Serb refugees from Sarajevo residing in Subotica, Yugoslavia; whether or not any Christian Serbs from Subotica have been repatriated to their homes in Sarajevo (2000)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||6 October 2000|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ZZZ34776.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Bosnia and Herzegovina/Yugoslavia: Treatment of Christian Serbs in Sarajevo; current status of Christian Serb refugees from Sarajevo residing in Subotica, Yugoslavia; whether or not any Christian Serbs from Subotica have been repatriated to their homes in Sarajevo (2000) , 6 October 2000, ZZZ34776.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4bed1c.html [accessed 20 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
No information could be found on the current status of Christian Serb refugees from Sarajevo residing in Subotica, Yugoslavia, nor whether any Christian Serbs from Subotica have been repatriated to their homes in Sarajevo, among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
Under the 1995 Dayton Agreement, Sarajevo is divided into a Serb and a Federation [Muslim-Croat] part (ONASA 10 Aug. 2000). The mayor of the Serb part Predrag Lasica stated that "the police and the local authorities are guaranteeing safety to all of them [Bosniak returnees] and under the same conditions which Serbs now have" (ibid.).
The Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2000 makes reference to the existence of discrimination in Sarajevo, in particular concerning housing and support for minority returnees, although the city has partly maintained its traditional multi-ethnic character (5 Sept. 2000).
According to representatives of the Democratic Initiatives of Serbs (DIS) quoted in a 15 March 2000 article, Serbs living in Sarajevo were unable to get involved in politics and there were virtually no Serbs in managerial positions (HCHR BH). The representatives also claimed that the Serb community of Sarajevo had to cope with "administrative obstacles" when they dealt with municipal authorities, when they needed health care or when they claimed their rights to pension (ibid.). Sarajevo's Serbs found it almost impossible to purchase new "penthouse" apartments or business premises, because the authorities granted them to families of dead Bosniak Muslim soldiers, disabled war veterans or demobilized soldiers of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian armed forces (ibid.).
According to the USCR, approximately 32,000 ethnic minorities, two-thirds Croats and one-third Serbs, have reportedly returned to the Canton of Sarajevo since 1995 (2000).
Unnamed associations of refugees and displaced persons based in Yugoslavia estimated that 40,000 Serbs were willing to return to Sarajevo, although towns of Republica Srpska had offered them housing (HCHR BH 15 Mar. 2000).
In July 2000, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina reported the return of 196 houses to their Serb pre-war owners in settlements of Sarajevo, particularly Velesici and Pofalici (1 July 2000). The committee also mentioned that the process of restitution would be completed in Novo Sarajevo with the return of 23 houses to their Serb owners (ibid.).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2000. September 2000. United States Department of State. Washington, DC.
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina (HCHR BH) [Sarajevo]. 1 July 2000. "Return: Living in Tents and Ruins."
_____. 15 March 2000. "Echoes: Sixth-Class Citizens."
ONASA [Sarajevo, in English]. 10 August 2000. "Serb Sarajevo Mayor Offers 'Same Privileges' to Returning Bosniaks, Serbs." (FBIS-EEU-2000-0810 13 Sept. 2000)
U.S. Committee for Refugees (USCR). 2000. Country Report: Bosnia and Hercegovina.
[Accessed 3 Oct. 2000]
Additional Sources Consulted
Internet sites including:
Amnesty International (AI)
Balkan Human Rights Web Pages
Helsinki Citizens' Assembly
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
The International Crisis Group (ICG)
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF-HR)
Office of the High Representative on Bosnia -Herzegovina
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
World News Connection (WNC)
Search engines including:
Nomade (in French)