20 Years Since War Broke out in Bosnia
Bosnians walked silently and sobbed on Sarajevo's main street, leaving flowers and gifts on 11,541 red chairs arranged in seemingly endless rows — the number represents the men, women and children killed in a siege that ended up being the longest of a city in modern history. Sarajevo marked the 20th anniversary on April 6, 2012 of the start of the Bosnian war. Exhibitions, concerts and performances were held, but the impact of the empty chairs reduced many to tears. Hundreds of the chairs were small, representing the slain children. On some, passers-by left teddy bears, little plastic cars, other toys or candy.
Bosniaks and Croats — who started off as allies — then turned against each other, so all three groups ended up fighting a war that took more than 100,000 lives, made half of the population homeless and left the once-ethnically mixed country devastated and divided into mono-ethnic enclaves.
Bosnia's foreign minister, Zlatko Lagumdzija also could not control his tears. "We owe it to the people that are not here, that we have a future here," he said. "Most of us have someone missing here." (AP)