(AFP) – Mar 22, 2012
SARAJEVO — An international media pack who covered the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia will return to Sarajevo's infamous Holiday Inn next month to mark 20 years since the conflict began, organisers said Thursday.
Around 100 journalists are expected to attend the event in the Bosnian capital, converging on the hotel which became the media headquarters during the war and was the setting for the film "Welcome to Sarajevo".
"The war in Bosnia was a huge international event, it was a crazy war, and the idea of the siege was something very special," said organiser Remy Ourdan, a journalist for the French daily Le Monde, who came to Sarajevo as a freelance reporter at the beginning of the inter-ethnic conflict.
Around 10,000 civilians, including 1,500 children, were killed during the Sarajevo siege imposed by Bosnian Serb forces for 44 months, almost the entire length of the war.
"Probably 90 percent of reporters in Bosnia were Europeans and they felt like they were at home. They were able to imagine themselves and their families in such a conflict," Ourden said.
Among the events being held at the hotel include a photo exhibition about the war and a special photo book will also be published.
"That will be a meeting of friends, our friends, friends of Sarajevo, and that is the most important for us," a Bosnian organiser, Nihad Kresevljakovic, said.
Separately, the AFP Foundation, which conducts training for journalists in developing countries, and the Council of Europe, will organise a debate on "media in war and peace" on April 6, the anniversary of the day when the conflict broke out.
The war in Bosnia between its three main ethnic groups -- Serbs, Muslims and Croats -- left some 100,000 people dead and 2.2 million refugees and displaced persons, almost a half of country's prewar population.
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