Reversing Ethnic and Cultural Cleansing: The Role of Annex 8 in Reclaiming History, Promoting Post-War Reconciliation and Preserving the Unique Cultural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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  • 1 The author is a doctoral candidate at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR), studying the role of the international community in post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has lived in Sarajevo since 1999, working for organizations including ECMI, the NATO Stabilization Force (SFOR), the Women Waging Peace Policy Commission and several local and international NGOs. She may be contacted by email at

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  • t Earlier versions of this article were presented at the 'Nationalism, Identity and Regional Co-operation: Compatibilities and Incompatibilities' conference of the Association for the Studv of Nationalities/ University of Bologna, Forli, Italy, 4-9 June 2002, and at the 'Democracy and Human Rights in Multi- ethnic Societies' conference of the Institute for Strengthening Democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, July 2002. Much of this research was conducted through ECMI's programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina from November 2001 through January 2003. Several workshop reports detailing ECMI's Annex 8 project are available on the ECMI website, at Some of the information presented derives from these ECMI workshops, and readers interested in learn- ing more about the specific comments and positions of the participating experts should refer to these reports for more detail.

  • 1 To review the entire text of the Charter, see£ 2 The Dayton Peace Agreement, formally known as the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (GFAP), entered into force on 14 December 1995. See for full text. 3 It should be noted that while the term 'ethnic group' is often used in BiH, the Bosniaks, Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs are all descendants of Slavic tribes, distinguished primarily by religion. 4 Additional power-sharing structures were imposed by the Office of the High Representative in early 2002 through constitutional reforms.

  • 5 In his article 'The End of the Transition Paradigm', Thomas Carothers notes many of the standard items on this checklist: judicial reform, parliamentary strengthening, civil societv assistance, media work, political party development, civic education and electoral programmes. 13(1) Journal of 'Democracy (2002), 5-21, at 17.

  • 6 Richard Carlton and Helen Walasek, 'Destruction of the Cultural Heritage in Bosnia-Herzegovina', unpublished paper transmitted online (2002). See also Robert Bevan, 'Bricks and Mortars' 1he Indepen- dent (London, 3 September 2001), as noted on, and Andras Riedlmayer, 'From the Asbes: The Past and Future of Bosnia's Cultural Heritage', in Maya Shatzmiller (ed.), Islam and Bosnia (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002), 98-135. 7 The term 'warchitecture' stems from an exhibition developed by a group of Sarajevo architects early in the war. The term 'urbicide' was also used and popularized during the recent war in an exhibition and catalogue entitled 'Mostar `92 - Urbicide', produced by the Croatian Defence Council and the Associa- tion of Architects of Mostar, and published by Mostar opcine. The author would like to thank Helen Walasek at the Bosnian Institute in London for her insight into these terms. 8 'The Destruction by War of the Cultural Heritage in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina presented by the Committee on Culture and Education', Council of Europe Information Report (2 February 1993), 4. See http:// One of the experts who prepared the report was Colin Kaiser, who has served as the Director of UNESCO in BiH.

  • 9 Some parties claim that there are 3,000 Muslim monuments on sacred Hindu sites. Sunanda K. Datta- Ray, 'Coming Apart at the Seams', International Herald Tribune (4 March 2002).

  • 10 The evidence was presented by Harvard University professor Andras Riedlmayer, who has done consid- erable work to document and lobby for protection of cultural heritage in BiH. See 'Milosevic Trial Told of Serb Onslaught on Mosques', Reuters (10 April 2002), and Andrew Herscher and Andras Riedlmayer, 'Architectural Heritage in Kosovo: A Post-War Report', at herscheriedlmayer.htm. 11 Andrew Herscher and Andras Riedlmayer, 'Architectural Heritage in Kosovo ...', ibid. 12 'Massive Cross Dedicated in Skopje', RFERL Newsline (29 August 2002). 13 The role of territory in conflict is the central thesis in John A. Vasquez's The WarPuzzle: 'It is argued here that concerns over territory, not power, have been the underlying and fundamental source of conflict that ends in war', Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1996), at 124. 14 Consider the statement made during the wars in the former Yugoslavia: 'Serbia is wherever Serbs are buried.' Territory and symbols associated with ancestor worship played a key role in the rise of violent nationalism in Serbia. See Katherine Verdery, the Political Lives of Dead Bodies. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

  • 15 Shankar Vedantam, 'India is... A Culture Struggles with all that Defines it.' The Washington Post (17 March 2002), at Bl. 16 Ted Robert Gurr, 'Minorities, Nationalists and Conflict', in Chester Crocker and Fen Osier Hampson (eds.), Managing Global Chaos: Source ofand Responses to International Conflict (Washington DC: USIP Press,1997), 53-77, at 66.

  • 17 Ibid., at 63. 18 Archaeologist Richard Carlton of the University of Newcastle is working on a study comparing cultural heritage destruction in BiH in World War II and during the war in the 1990s.

  • 19 'The Destruction by \\'ar of the Cultural Heritage in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina ...'. 20 See for information regarding days and names of the sites dam- aged. 21 Andras Riedlmayer, 'Bosnia's %Iulticultural Heritage and its Destruction', manu/ceip2.htm.

  • 22 See text online at 23 Ejub Stitkovac, 'Building Places of Worship Together', AIM Press (11 April 1995), at http://

  • 24 Michael Sells, The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1996), 146, 150. 25 GFAP, Annex 8, Article 6 (emphasis added).

  • 26 The author would again like to thank Helen Walasek for her insight on this issue. 27 Adopted on 19 December 1954 in Paris, entered into force on 5 May 1955, ETS No. 18. See at http: // 28 Adopted on 14 May 1954 in The Hague, entered into force on 7 August 1956, registration no. 3511/ 249 UNTS 215. See at 29 Adopted on May 1969 in London, entered into force on 20 November 1970, ETS No. 66; revised on 16 January 1992 in Valletta, entered into force on 25 May 1995, ETS No. 143. See at http:// 30 Adopted on 16 November 1972 in Paris, entered into force 17 December 1975, registration no. 15511/1037 UNTS 215. See at;Request=TREATYBYLO C;Form=none;VF Volume=UNVOL06;VF_File=00002106;Page=l;Type=page. 31 Adopted on 3 October 1985 in Granada, entered into force on 1 December 1987, ETS No. 121. See at

  • 32 For a basic point of reference, claims or petition processes have been used by the Centre for Real Property

  • Claims, which, as of 2002, has received over 300,000, and by the Human Rights Chamber, which has received over 8,000. 33 The breakdowns that follow are based on a total of 777, reflecting this count and coding and some instances of overlapping categories. 34 'Is Dayton Failing?', International Crisis Group Report (28 October 1999). 35 Source: Author's Assessment. 36 In this survey of the provisional list (developed by the author for this project), there was occasionally some difficulty in determining whether a church was Catholic or Orthodox. Decisions were made based on regional knowledge. The author would like to thank Ermina Porca for her assistance.

  • 37 Source: Author's Assessment. 38 Brcko is a special administrative district within BiH that is not a part of either Entitv. 39 The Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. the Republika Srpska, Case NO. CH/96/29.

  • 40 Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina Annual Report 1999, available at english/annual_report/1999/annex/al.htm. 41 Law on the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Monuments in BiH.

  • 42 In April 2002, a court in Banja Luka sentenced seven people in connection with the ceremony attacks. Sentences included four months imprisonment or fines of up to $900. See 'Bosnian Serbs Sentenced over Mosque Incident', RFERL Newsline (29 April 2002). 43 Unrest continued around the site of the mosque in Stolac, as on 4 December 2001 a small group of extremists tore down a fence surrounding and protecting the building site. Radio Free Europe Daily Nevuline (5 December 2001).

  • 44 The OHR had not been previously involved in Annex 8 issues, though some of its decisions were rel- evant to it. For instance, the 27 May 1999 decision of the High Representative on Socially Owned Land specified that land being used for religious or cultural purposes before 6 April 1992 could not be reallocated. See default. asp ?conten t_id =50 91. 1. 45 On 21 February 2002, the Presidency of BiH issued conclusions to initiate the drafting of documents related to the implementation of the Annex 8 law and the reconstituted commission. 46 In the Federation, the ministry mandated to address implementation of the law is the Ministry of Urban Planning and Environment. In the RS the appropriate ministry is the Ministry of Urban Planning,

  • Housing Affairs and Utilities, Construction and Ecology, though there has been some discussion in the RS concerning the role of the Ministry for Science and Culture. In the Brcko District, the Department of Urbanism, Real Estate Affairs and Economic Development is charged with the implementation of the law. 47 The issue of movable property is not specifically addressed. 48 The Commission members are Amra Hadzimuhamedovic, Dubravko Lovrenovic, Liljana Sevo, Tina \Vik and Zeynep Ahunbay. Tina \Vik and Zeynep Ahunbay serve as international expert Commission members.

  • 49 Rules ofProcedure for the Work of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments. 50 Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina Report of Activities, May 2002 - May 2003. See the Annex 8 Commission website, for a full listing of declared sites.

  • 51 The Krakow Charter, developed bv the International Conference on Conservation in 2002, actually rec- ommends against the complete reconstruction of destroyed buildings: 'The reconstruction of entire parts 'in the style of the building' should be avoided. Reconstruction of very small parts having architectural significance can be acceptable as an exception on condition that it is based on precise and indisputable documentation. If necessary. for a proper use of the building, completion of more extensive spatial and functional parts should reflect contemporary architecture. Reconstruction of an entire building, destroyed by armed conflict or natural disaster, is only acceptable ifthere are exceptional social or cultural motives that are related to the identity ofthe entire community.' (emphasis added). This approach has been criticized, as every situation could have social or cultural motives related to a communiW identity.

  • 52 For people wishing to prove their 'right' to a piece of land, archaeology provides historic shards of evidence. In Lebanon scholars are seeking to revive and rediscover their country's archaeological and architectural history. See Ramsay Short, International Herald Tribune (7 October 2002), 7. 'In Israel the mania for archaeology, for excavating ancient Jewish ruins, is a way of legitimizing the presence of Jews in what was once Palestine.' Chris Hedges, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. (New York: Public Affairs, 2002), 71. 53 '[That] crime was committed in the sixteenth century and should not be repeated in the 21" century. That's why we suggested that the site be preserved and turned into an archaeological section or a museum that will not motivate hatred.' Dnevni List (27 February 2002), as translated in OHR Media Round Up.

  • 54 'Bosnian Serb Groups Warn Against Rebuilding Mosque Destroyed During War', BBC World-tide Monitoring (20 January 2002). See also RTRS Banja Luka Radio News (20 January 2003). 55 However, the RS ministry for Urban Planning issued a rehabilitation permit for the Ferhadija mosque on 16 August 2002.

  • 56 'You have to study what Hajrudin had in mind. You have to find the old plans, in the Ottoman libraries in Istanbul. You can't just work from photographs. You have to establish where the original stone came from. You have to figure out how it was cut and how they used molten lead to bond the ironwork that held the stones in place.' Michael Ignatieff, 'When a Bridge is not a Bridge', The New York Times (27 October 2002). 57 This has occurred in Kosovo as well. See Jolyon Naegele, 'Yugoslavia: Saudi Wahhabi Aid Workers Bulldoze Balkan Monument', Radio Free Europe (4 August 2000). 58 Michael Sells, 'Erasing Culture: Wahhabism, Buddhism, Balkan Mosques', April 2, 2001, at http: //

  • 59 'Reconstruction of Demolished 17`" Century Mosque Starts in Bosnian Serb Town', BBC Monitoring International Reports (12 December 2002). 60 The BiH Inter-Religious Council consists of the heads of BiH's Catholic, Islamic, Jewish and Orthodox communities. 61 Cultural Heritage Without Borders web site, at 62 Ibid.

  • 63 See Valery Perry, 'ECMI Civil Society Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Supporting Annex 8 of the Dayton Peace Agreement - Development of a Cultural Heritage Association and an Education Programme', Workshop 14 December 2002, Sarajevo, February 2003, available at doc/public_reports.html. Additional workshop reports that provide background on the Annex 8 projects are also available on the ECMI website, at the same place. 64 See Final Communique, at 65 See

  • 66 The ICBS is made up of the International Council on Archives (ICA), the International Council on Museums (ICOM), the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the Inter- national Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). For more information see http: //

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