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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



April 6, the day Sarajevo celebrates its history of resistance

April 06, 2021

April 6 is the most important date in the history of Bosnia’s capital, as on that day, in 1945, Sarajevo was liberated from the Nazi occupation.

But on the same day in 1992, the city was under attack again and needed to be liberated one more time. The longest siege of a capital in modern history started on April 5, 1992, and lasted until February 29, 1996. It took the lives of 11,541 of its residents, including 1,601 children.

Numerous officials, including the Bosniak and Bosnian Croat members of the country’s tripartite Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic, respectively, laid wreaths at the Eternal Flame in Sarajevo’s center – a memorial to victims of WWII in Sarajevo.

Sarajevo’s Mayor, Abdulah Skaka, congratulated the April 6, the Day of Sarajevo, to all citizens and said it was unfortunate that no large events event could be organized to mark the date due to the dramatic situation with COVID-19 in the city.

“Sarajevo has been attacked and defended numerous times, Sarajevo is a city of unbreakable spirit,” Skaka said.

The constant shelling of the city destroyed residential buildings and the city’s infrastructure. Among the targets were also hospitals, the TV building and the TV tower, trams, hotels, university buildings, cemeteries, the City Hall, religious objects, the Parliament building, and other structures.

A day after the Bosnian Serb forces laid siege to the city, on April 6, the European Economic Community recognized the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent state.
However, as the flag with the Bosnian lily was standing tall in front of the UN Headquarters in New York, Bosnian Serb forces shelled Sarajevo and starved the city for 1,425 days, leaving it without electricity, heating, water, medications and other basic needs.

Against all odds, the city survived and rose from ashes again after the war, keeping its character of a multiethnic and multireligious city.

Because of all of those events, city authorities declared in 2006 that the Day of the City of Sarajevo will be observed on April 6.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/april-6-the-day-sarajevo-celebrates-its-history-of-resistance/

Eight decades since German Stukas pounded Belgrade on April 6, 1941

April 06, 2021

It was April 6, 1941, 6.30 on Sunday morning, when Belgraders woke up to German Stuka dive bombers' ill-omened sound, which started the operation dubbed Retribution (Unternehmen Strafgericht), also known as Operation Punishment.

The retaliation followed the coup d’état that overthrew the then Government for signing the Tripartite Pact. The bombing marked the start of the invasion of Yugoslavia during World War II.

The number of killed was estimated at 4,000 people, though some sources put it much higher, even up to 17,000.

The Nazis bombed the National Library of Serbia, the only National Library burned to the ground on purpose in WWII.

The air raids led to the surrender of the Yugoslav Royal Army after six days of resistance.

Belgrade was occupied seven days later, on April 13, and was ruled by the Germans until October 1944. The country capitulated on April 17, the Government and the underage King Petar II Karadjordjevic left the country and settled in London.

On Tuesday, Serbia’s and Belgrade authorities will mark the 70th anniversary of the April bombing with a series of manifestations.

April 6, 1941, was the first of three bombings of Serbia’s capital in the 20th century. The second happened in 1944, this time by the Allies to help push Germans out of the city, and then NATO’s campaign in March 1999.

The latter, dubbed The Angel of Mercy, was by far the longest, lasted 78 days and was justified by what the West described as Belgrade’s oppression of Kosovo Albanians that might have led to a humanitarian catastrophe in then Serbia’s southern province.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/eight-decades-since-german-stukas-pounded-belgrade-on-april-6-1941/

Support rallies for Montenegrin Minister who denied Srebrenica genocide

April 05, 2021

Residents in several Montenegrin cities began gatherings to protest the decision of Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic to initiate proceedings to dismiss Minister of Justice, Human and Minority Rights Vladimir Leposavic for denying the Srebrenica genocide, CdM portal reported Monday.

A group of young men posted a scandalous banner that reads “A Serb is being removed from office because of Srebrenica, remember there was no genocide,” the CDM portal reported.

Protestors in the Montenegrin capital Podgorice came to Stanko Dragojevic Boulevard, blocked traffic and chanted “We will not give up the Government,” singing songs dedicated to Kosovo, carrying Serbian flags.

The people of Berane expressed their protest by blocking the main road to Bijelo Polje, in the village of Persina stanica. They told Krivokapic that he had betrayed their trust.

“The prime minister must not engage in such methods and defend foreign interests. He must respect the will of the people who brought him to that office. If he has already deceived us, we appeal to the deputies to prevent this, they must not dismiss Leposavic,” said those gathered.

They added, “if Leposavic falls, so will the Government.”

The rallies were organized in Niksic, Podgorica, Berane, Bijelo Polje and Bar, CdM reported.

In an extraordinary address to the public, Krivokapic said he would initiate the procedure to dismiss Minister Leposavic due to his controversial statement regarding Srebrenica. Leposavic previously refused to resign, after Krivokapic asked him to do. The Montenegrin Prime Minister will send a proposal to the Assembly for his dismissal on Monday.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/support-rallies-for-montenegrin-minister-who-denied-srebrenica-genocide/

North Macedonia tightens anti-epidemic measures ahead of Orthodox Easter

April 05, 2021

North Macedonia's Government extended on Monday a curfew from 8 pm to 5 am and closed all cafes and restaurants, gyms, and bookmakers to prevent the spreading of the country's coronavirus epidemic.

The new restrictions will start on Tuesday. Previously, the curfew began at 10 pm.
During the ban on movements, people would be allowed to walk pets from 10 to 11 pm, a hundred meters away from flats or houses.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said the new regulations would be in force until April 20 and warned the new wave of the epidemic, with the British strain, was much more dangerous than the previous one.

The restrictions are introduced ahead of Easter celebrated on May 2, according to the Julian calendar, and are expected to reduce the virus spread and pressure on the health system.

The ban on more than four people gathering remains in force, while delivery service is allowed.

At the same time, Serbia, where Easter is also celebrated according to the Julian calendar, on Monday relaxed the existing anti-epidemic measures and extending the catering working hours.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/north-macedonia-tightens-anti-epidemic-measures-ahead-of-orthodox-easter/

Serbia & Bahrain to sign deal avoiding double taxation; Open embassies

April 05, 2021

Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's President and Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the third line of the heir apparent of the Kingdom of Bahrain, agreed in Belgrade on Monday to avoid double taxation between the two countries and to open embassies in Serbia's capital and Manama.

The two also discussed the promotion of investments in both countries.

Vucic added that the embassies’ opening would increase the cooperation between Serbia and Bahrein and the peoples. At the same time, the direct flights between Belgrade and Manama would boost tourism and economic cooperation.

Al Khalifa, who is on a two-day return visit after Vucic has recently been in his country, says that proves the significance of the bilateral relations and „the value of the partnership that is on the rise and that will be consolidated by the diplomatic and strategic ties.“

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbia-open-embassies/

Coronavirus on April 5: Slovenia

April 05, 2021

Over the past 24 hours, 283 new coronavirus infections have been confirmed in Slovenia and there have been seven Covid-related deaths, the Slovenian government reported on its Twitter account on Monday.

With fewer tests done, the number of new infections is lower than on Sunday, when 720 new cases were reported. However, the rolling 7-day average of new cases has increased to 1,058.

There are currently 557 Covid patients in hospital care, including 126 in intensive care units. The number of active cases in Slovenia is 14,104, the health ministry said.

On Sunday, up to six people from a maximum of two households were allowed to socialize because of the Easter holidays, and internal travel was allowed.

Starting on Easter Monday, this is no longer possible, and restrictive measures imposed to contain the so-called third wave of the epidemic adopted last week are again in force until 11 April.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-pandemic-daily-regional-update-on-april-5-2021/

Coronavirus: Croatia reports 138 new cases, 25 deaths

April 05, 2021

Over the past 24 hours, Croatia has registered 138 new cases of the coronavirus infection and 25 people have died, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Monday.

A total of 1,154 people have been tested in the last 24 hours. The number of active cases in Croatia now stands at 11,854, including 1,616 Covid patients in hospitals, 156 of whom are on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when Croatia registered its first case, a total of 280,164 people have contracted the coronavirus. There have been 262,227 recoveries, including 1,691 over the past 24 hours.

The death toll to date is now 6,083. To date, 1,583,654 people have been tested, including 1,154 in the last 24 hours, and there are currently 29,951 people in self-isolation.

As of 4 April, 524,371 doses of vaccine have been used, and 426,037 people have been vaccinated.

A total of 326,055 people have received the first dose, while 98,334 have been inoculated with both doses. For 1,648 people, there is no data on which dose they have received, state agency Hina reported.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-croatia-reports-138-new-cases-25-deaths/

Coronavirus UPDATE: 39 deaths, 3,706 newly infected in Serbia

April 05, 2021

Over the last 24 hours, 39 patients died from COVID-19-related complications and out of 13,974 tested people, 3,706 were infected with the coronavirus, Serbia's Health Ministry said on Monday. .

To date, COVID-19 claimed a total of 5,497 lives with a mortality rate of 0.88 percent.

On Monday, 7,839 patients were hospitalized, of whom 282 on ventilators.

Since the epidemic outbreak in March 2020, 3,497,640 people have been tested, and 621,375 samples have returned positive for the new virus.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-update-39-deaths-3706-newly-infected-in-serbia/

Bosnia registers 636 new coronavirus infections, 66 COVID-19 fatalities

April 05, 2021

A total of 636 people tested positive for the coronavirus and 66 COVID-19 patients passed away in Bosnia and Herzegovina throughout the past 24 hours, healthcare authorities said on Monday.

In Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity, 433 of the 2,729 people testes were positive for the virus and 42 died due to the disease.

In the other semi-autonomous entity, Republika Srpska (RS), 639 people were tested and 179 of them were positive, while 21 COVID-19 patients died.

Bosnia’s Brcko District also registered 24 new coronavirus infections and three COVID-19 fatalities.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bosnia-registers-636-new-coronavirus-infections-66-covid-19-fatalities/

Coronavirus on April 5: Montenegro

April 05, 2021

Over the last 24 hours, 12 patients died from COVID-19-related complications, while out of 1,066 222 people were positive for the coronavirus in Montenegro, the Public Health Institute said on Monday.

The death toll stood at 1,317.

On Monday, there were 5,394 active infection cases.

Since the epidemic outbreak in March 2020, 92,740 people were confirmed infected with the coronavirus.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-pandemic-daily-regional-update-on-april-5-2021/

Coronavirus on April 5: Kosovo

April 05, 2021

In the last 24 hours, 11 patients died from COVID-10-related complications, while put of 4,718 tested people, 512 were positive for the coronavirus in Kosovo.

A total of 77,957 patients have recovered since the epidemic outbreak.

At the same time, 447,840 people have been tested and 94,167 samples have returned positive for the virus.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-pandemic-daily-regional-update-on-april-5-2021/

Sarajevo Canton's Prosecution enters University Clinical Centre

April 05, 2021

A team of prosecutors of the Sarajevo Canton Prosecutor's Office entered the premises of Sarajevo University Clinical Centre Monday afternoon. Prosecutors entered after it was confirmed in the afternoon that a case had been formed regarding the contents of a letter published by local media outlets over the weekend claiming Covid patient neglect, N1 has learned.

The letter focused particularly on the use of ventilators which were purchased last year in a controversial procedure that is currently the subject of a court trial. According to the authors of the letter, who did not reveal their names, the ventilators are useless and “chances of patients to survive on them are – zero.”

The clinical centre’s management strongly dismissed the allegations and dubbed the media which published the open letter “tabloids.”

The letter sparked fury on social media and led Sarajevo Canton Health Minister to invite the head of the KCUS, Sebija Izetbegovic, for an urgent meeting.

The KCUS management met with KS Government representatives on Monday.

KS Prime Minister, Edin Forto, said after the meeting that he refused to sign a conclusion the KCUS management presented to him that said all of the activities in the institution were in line with the law and regulations.

Forto said the KS Government asked for the establishment of an expert body which should be formed by the government of Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity and the FBiH Health Ministry in order to establish the facts regarding the issue of the ventilators, but the request was denied.

According to Izetbegovic, Minister Vranic asked, during the meeting, why they did not pull the controversial ventilators, which are subject of a trial against the Prime Minister of Bosnia’s Federation entity Fadil Novalic and his associates, due to allegations that they are ineffective for the treatment of Covid patients and that they are even allegedly dangerous.

To this Izetbegovic said she told the Minister and Sarajevo Canton Prime Minister Edin Forto that they will pull them from use straight away, just as soon as Vranic and Forto sign the order.

Doctor Izetbegovic concluded the press conference by saying that no ventilator has ever killed anyone, but noted that they are only a support device, not a cure for Covid.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/sarajevo-cantons-prosecution-enters-university-clinical-centre/

North Macedonia tightens anti-epidemic measures

April 05, 2021

North Macedonia's Government extended on Monday a curfew from 8 pm to 5 am and closed all cafes and restaurants, gyms, and bookmakers to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus epidemic.

The new restrictions will start on Tuesday. Previously, the curfew began at 10 pm.

During the ban on movements, people would be allowed to walk pets from 10 to 11 pm, a hundred meters away from flats or houses.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said the new regulations would be in force until April 20 and warned the new wave of the epidemic, with the British strain, was much more dangerous than the previous one.

The restrictions are introduced ahead of Easter celebrated on May 2, according to the Julian calendar, and are expected to reduce the virus spread and pressure on the health system.

The ban on more than four people gathering remains in force, while delivery service is allowed.

Also on Monday, North Macedonia started a mass vaccination.

At the same time, Serbia, where Easter is also celebrated according to the Julian calendar, on Monday relaxed the existing anti-epidemic measures and extending the catering working hours.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/north-macedonia-tightens-anti-epidemic-measures/

Sarajevo Clinical Centre could sue media for allegations of patient neglect

April 05, 2021

The Sarajevo University Clinical Center (KCUS) CEO Sebija Izetbegovic characterized the Monday meeting with Sarajevo Canton's Health Minister Haris Vranic and members of the Cantonal Government, as astonishing, adding that the KCUS will sue all media outlets who published the allegations of patient neglect from an anonymous letter said to come from the KCUS employees.

“We started talking about the letters that were published via various portals and media outlets. We started talking about the first letter for which I said it was the subject of a police investigation, and that we hired lawyers. The letter is anonymous, it’s irrelevant. We will sue all the portals and televisions that waved that letter and journalists who participated in waving with the anonymous letter,” Izetbegovic said.

According to her, Minister Vranic asked why they did not pull the controversial ventilators, which are subject of a trial against the Prime Minister of Bosnia’s Federation entity Fadil Novalic and his associates, due to allegations that they are ineffective for the treatment of Covid patients and that they are even allegedly dangerous.

To this Izetbegovic said she told the Minister and Sarajevo Canton Prime Minister Edin Forto that they will pull them from use straight away, just as soon as Vranic and Forto sign the order.

“As long as we have this certificate from Verlab (a verified repair company for ventilators and other sensitive medical equipment) which says that the device can be used primarily as a stationary one and that it can be portable if used with an oxygen bottle in an ambulance, we must not withdraw these ventilators because we would be liable to the families of patients, or a potential lawsuit from China, which can sue us for declaring their ventilators defective,” said Izetbegovic.

Several BiH media outlets published a letter allegedly written by Sarajevo University Clinical Centre employees who said they wished to remain anonymous, alleging that Covid patients are neglected and that their working conditions are unacceptable.

The letter paid particular attention to the ventilators, which were purchased last year in a controversial procedure that is currently a subject of a court trial, and whose adequacy for the clinical treatment of Covid patients was marked as questionable.

According to the signatories of the letter, these ventilators are useless and “chances of patients to survive on them are – zero.”

Doctor Izetbegovic concluded the press conference by saying that no ventilator has ever killed anyone, but noted that they are only a support device, not a cure for Covid.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/ceo-sarajevo-clinical-centre-could-sue-media-for-allegations-of-patient-neglect/

Prosecution forms case regarding allegations of Covid patient neglect at KCUS

April 05, 2021

The Chief Prosecutors of the Prosecutor's Office of BiH and the Prosecutor's Office of Sarajevo Canton Gordana Tadic and Sabina Sarajlija met Monday and agreed on the details of coordinated actions of prosecutors in the working on cases related to the use of ACM 812A ventilators at the Sarajevo University Clinical Centre (KCUS). The same ventilators procured by the Prime Minister of Bosnia's Federation entity Fadil Novalic and his associates, which were said to be ineffective and which are the subject of a court trial against the PM and others.

The two discussed current events over the past few days, related to ventilators and treatment of Covid 19 patients at KCUS, as well as further activities of prosecutorial and judicial institutions.

Considering that the State Prosecutor's Office has previously acted in the case that was opened before the indictment in the Novalic et al. case, referring to assistance to the perpetrator after the commission of a criminal offence by several persons, the Prosecutor's Office of BiH said they will continue working on the case.

Based on the recent media reports, the Cantonal Prosecutor's Office of Sarajevo Canton formed a case related to a letter from a number of doctors from the KCUS, about the usability of ventilators in the treatment of patients at the KCUS, severe consequences for health and life of such patients, and other problems in the functioning of the so-called Covid department, in which he the Prosecutor’s Office will act in the coming period, in accordance with its jurisdiction.

The two prosecutors agreed to act urgently with coordinated activities and that they will exchange the information and evidence they gather so that all the facts regarding the said ventilators would be uncovered.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/prosecution-forms-case-regarding-allegations-of-covid-patient-neglect-at-kcus/

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