and the 1992-1995 Civil War
Upon Bosnia declaring its independence from Yugoslavia, the
capital of Sarajevo was under siege by Bosnian Serbs and the
Serbian-controlled Yugoslavian Army. With Serbs holding
the high ground above Sarajevo, it was a shooting gallery in
which anyone became a target. Above is one of many
cemeteries holding over 10,000 Sarajevo victims of Serbian
shelling and sniper fire.
This map shows how Sarajevo was essentially surrounded and
cut-off from the outside world during the war. The city's
military situation appeared hopeless, with centuries of its
heritage reduced to rubble. As a war memorial, Sarajevo has
preserved a portion of the tunnel which allowed for both
escape and vital supplies of all kinds, including food and
weapons, to enter the besieged city.
Here is the tunnel's entrance, outside a private house near
the airport. Much of the tunnel passed underneath farmland.
The tunnel itself, which ended up with rails for moving cargo.
Bosniak Muslims were the main defenders of Sarajevo,
receiving vital aid from Moslem countries, which came
through this tunnel. The war ended after American and
NATO forces bombed the Bosnian Serbs, leading to the 1995
Dayton Agreement, under which Bosnia was divided between
a Serbian entity and a Croatian-Muslim entity. Sarajevo has
significantly recovered and rebuilt over the last decade.