1994 – A year in focus


Journal de l'année – MSF F – FRENCH


Commentary: Far from the negotiating tables, against a background of ethnic cleansing and persistent bombing, the insanity of war continues to crush Bosnia. Although declared a safe area, in the middle of April, the Gorazde enclave and its 65,000 inhabitants were caught in a barrage of fire. Trapped by the Serb artillery but also by the indecision of the international community, two Médecins Sans Frontières volunteers are witness to the demise of the enclave. The Bosnian surgical teams in the hospital are operating non-stop.

Commentary: On 17 April, Serb troops entered the town and, on 19 April, the hospital collapsed under the bombs. 65,000 desperate people crowded into cellars are certain of just one thing; they can expect nothing from the United Nations or the rest of the world.

Commentary: "The courage of the people here never ceases to surprise us,” wrote the Médecins Sans Frontières team. "The town is lost; everyone know it. The choice is simple. Die or go somewhere else, who knows where. Despite it all, we’re trying to hold our heads high, we’re surviving in the hope that we’ll soon be able to live. Tell the surgeon and the anaesthetist to go home, there’s nothing more to be done here than witness the agony of a people who were simply asking to live."

Commentary: Have these cries of distress been heeded? The threat of NATO airstrikes, as in Sarajevo, has led to a retreat by the Serb troops – but for how long?