"Tunel", Bosna Spring, and Presidency of Bosnia

A busy day and we're not done yet ...

We began today with a tour of the "tunel", the tunnel of Sarajevo that served as THE LIFELINE for the city during most of the siege.  It was built over 4 months in 1992, and it ran UNDERNEATH the airport runway.  The tunnel served as a 2-way highway, with 3,000 people per day using it (on especially busy days).  Food, medicine, and other supplies came into Sarajevo; soldiers came out of Sarajevo and into the "Free Bosnian Territory" (see map below; the man providing the explanation lived in the house where the tunnel begins; that house is now a museum).  

After the tunnel visit, we spent an hour at the "spring of Bosna", the natural springs that are the origins of the River Bosna, from which the country Bosnia gets its name.  This is a breathtaking park/nature reserve/spring.  None of us had ever been here ... it is now a "must" for any future Balkans Dialogues!

And then it was a mad-dash back to the hotel so we could change from our casual clothes and get into our best attire in order to prepare for our meeting with Mr. Elvir Camdzic, the chief foreign policy advisor to Bakir Izetbegović, the Bosniak President of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH).  

The presidency of BiH is a tri-partite entity, with one Bosniak (or Muslim), one Serb, and one Croat.  All 3 are elected at the same time and serve for a 4-year term, collectively.  All 3 people serve as “President” for 8 months at a time, on a rotating basis.  

We were very happy to have time with Mr. Camdzic.  In fact, we had over 2 hours with him!  While a few were starting to get antsy, I found out afterwards that there were a great many "political nerds" like me who could have gone another hour.  But so be it - our 2 hours with Mr. Camdzic were packed with his great political analysis, critical looks at the politics of BiH as well as the politics of the collective Presidency as well.  


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