Oct 19th, 2003, 03:22 PM
The former Bosnian President, Alija Izetbegovic, has died aged 78.
Mr Izetbegovic died in hospital on Sunday after becoming ill after a fall at his home last month.
Mr Izetbegovic led Bosnia's Muslims through the country's 1992-95 war.
He went on to serve as the Muslim member of Bosnia Hercegovina's post-war multi-ethnic presidency until 2000, when he stepped down due to ill health.
He is survived by his wife, Halida, and three children - Sabina, Lejla and Bakir
Oct 19th, 2003, 03:25 PM
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - Alija Izetbegovic, who led Bosnia's Muslims during the 1992-95 war for independence then became one of the multiethnic republic's first postwar presidents, died Sunday, a hospital official said. He was 78.
Izetbegovic died of complications that developed after he was hospitalized for injuries sustained from a fall in his home, said Dr. Ismet Gavrankapetanovic, the head of Sarajevo's Kosevo clinic.
"The former president of Bosnian-Herzegovina died in the Kosevo hospital today," Gavrankapetanovic was quoted as saying by state radio.
Izetbegovic's condition had become critical on Friday when doctors could not stop bleeding in his left lung, the hospital reported.
The former president had been admitted to Sarajevo's main hospital weeks ago after breaking four ribs and injuring his shoulder during a fall at his home.
Oct 19th, 2003, 06:46 PM
SARAJEVO (AFP) - Bosnia's wartime president, Alija Izetbegovic, died in a Sarajevo hospital at age 78, the Muslim member of Bosnia's presidency, Sulejman Tihic, told journalists.
"President Izetbegovic passed away," Tihic told reporters gathered outside the Sarajevo hospital where he had been admitted last month with four broken ribs.
"I just met with his family and we will soon start to arrange details for his funeral," he added.
Bosnian television and radio stations interrupted their programming to announce the death of Izetbegovic, the hero of Muslim resistance during the siege of Sarajevo who led his country to independence from communist Yugoslavia.
Izetbegovic's health had steadily deteriorated since his September 10 admission to hospital after he fainted in his house and cracked four ribs.
He suffered internal haemorraging in his chest and blood circulation problems in his left leg, and had been placed in intensive care on Wednesday.
Mr Izetbegovic had a long history of heart disease, and had received treatment in Slovenia and Saudi Arabia.
Elected chairman of Bosnia's collective presidency in 1990, Izetbegovic was a key figure during the country's 1992-95 war when some 200,000 people died and more than two million were forced out of their homes.
He won worldwide sympathy by running the government from sandbagged buildings during the three-and-a-half-year-long siege of Sarajevo by Bosnian Serbs, under constant threat from their artillery and sniper attacks.
The short, blue-eyed Muslim walked to his office through the bombardment, believing, according to those who knew him, that death would come when Allah willed it.
Together with the then-Croatian president Franjo Tudjman and former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, Izetbegovic participated in marathon peace negotiations in the US city of Dayton, Ohio, in November 1995 led by the US diplomat Richard Holbrooke. These resulted in a peace accord for Bosnia.
Oct 19th, 2003, 08:53 PM
Bosnia prematurely declared statehood in the early '90's, IMO; after the Serb-Croat war it was clear that much work needed 2B done first. But dubya's "foreign policy expert" father pushed it through the UN without any serious "then what" planning. So the Bosnian Serbs had the part of the old YUG army based there, and units entering @ will from Serbia. Ethnic cleansing was eminently predictable. Compare that to the "velvet divorce" between the Czechs and Slovaks that (wise or not) didn't lead to a bloodbath. (Good intentions don't always equal good results).