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Jovan Devjak, the Bosnian Serb general who defended Sarajevo, has died

Thursday Died At 84 years old, Jovan Devjak, the former Bosnian Serb general who defended Sarajevo during a long siege of the city in the Bosnian War of the 1990s. Divjak was one of the few Bosnians of Serbian descent who chose to fight in the Bosnian army and defend the idea of ​​a multicultural Bosnia. He was so loved by Sarajevese, who nicknamed him “Jovo”, editor He was sick for a while.

Divjak was born in Belgrade, Serbia, to parents from Bosanska Krajina, Bosnian region. A colonel in the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), decided in 1992 to desert and go to the side of Bosnia, which declared its independence after the breakup of Yugoslavia and was embroiled in a brutal civil war. During the war, Devjak became the second most important officer in the Bosnian army and one of the main heroes of the Sarajevo resistance, which was bombed and besieged by the Serbian army and Radovan Karadzic militia for nearly four years, leaving it devastated.

Devjac narrated the experiences of war in an interview book written with journalist Florence La Bruyere, translated by Gianluca Pachucci into Italian and published by Infinito, Sarajevo is my love. In 2017 He said ad France Press agency That it was “naturally on the side of those who were attacked, who had no weapons.” He explained that deserting the Yugoslav forces “was the only right thing to do,” claiming his loyalty to the Bosnian identity against the nationalities and fundamentalism that still divides and divides the Balkan peninsula states today.

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In a Facebook post, Adriano Sofry Writes Devjak “was a hero of apostates from Serbian fanatics, isolated even by Muslim leaders, but he was always a protector and protector of civilians, for that daily resistance, especially women, whom he trusted.”

Also read: What was the siege of Sarajevo

After the war he was awarded several honors, including the Legion of Honor – the highest honor bestowed by the French state – for his “civic sense and his rejection of prejudice and racial discrimination.”

After the war, Devjak left the army and devoted himself particularly to helping and educating war orphans and children of poor families, especially through the Obrazovanje Gradi BIH association, which means “Education builds Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

In March 2011 He was arrested In Austria, with authorization from the Serbian government, which accused him of war crimes during the conflict in Bosnia. The following July, he was released after Austria refused his extradition request, believing that he could not receive a fair trial in Serbia.

Also read: Serbia also wants to vaccinate other Balkan countries

Harold Manning

"Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover."

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