Stolac, 5 March 2013
Stolac is a town and municipality situated in southwest Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), close to the border with Croatia. The beautiful old town – submitted by BiH to UNESCO for cultural heritage status - still bears visible scars of the devastation caused during the conflicts of the 1990s.
Today, Bosniak and Croat students share the town’s high school and a number of them came together to attend a presentation on the ICTY given by BiH Outreach representative Almir Alić. Almir soon discovered the students were largely unfamiliar with the work of the Tribunal. “I basically knew nothing, so everything was new to me,” one 18-year-old girl said. The two-hour multimedia presentation brought the Tribunal’s role in post-conflict recovery closer to the students, who were keen to talk with Almir about what the presentation had taught them.
At the end of the event, a majority of the students suggested that their perceptions of the Tribunal had become far more positive now that they knew the facts. Asked whether reconciliation was possible for the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, one student spoke for many of his peers when he said: “Yes. Reconciliation is possible, but only through great efforts. We must all come to understand that together we are much stronger.”