By Maja Tuljkovic – Sarajevo
Tomorrow will mark the 22nd anniversary since the formation of the Army of the Republic of B&H. The B&H Army is made up of units of the Territorial Defense (TO BiH), a part of the former B&H Patriotic League (PL BiH) and during the war was the only legitimate military force in the territory of B&H. It was formed out of seven corps encompassing regions: Sarajevo, Tuzla Zenica, Travnik, Mostar, the region of current Una-Sana Canton and the area of Konjic and its surroundings.
15 April is one of the most important and brightest dates in the modern history of B&H, because on that day the forces that managed to defend the country and its territorial sovereignty and integrity were formed, despite the much larger and heavily armed aggressors. During the first days of the aggression on B&H, members of the B&H Army barely had any equipment, experience and were overall not prepared for what awaited them. During the war, many soldiers in the B&H Army were killed, and many were also injured.
Marking the anniversary of the formation of the B&H Army during the aggression began in Sarajevo today with a minute of silence, prayers and laying flowers at the cemetery „Kovači“, paying tribute to the fallen soldiers of the B&H Army. At the central plateau and the grave of the first president of B&H and supreme commander of the Army of B&H AlijaIzetbegović, members of the B&H Presidency BakirIzetbegović and ŽeljkoKomšić laid flowers, as well as a delegation of the B&H Ministry of Defense, B&H Armed Forces, delegation of legislative and executive authorities of B&H, FB&H, veterans’ organizations and international military organizations.
On this occasion, member of the B&H Presidency BakirIzetbegović said that it was a great day when the B&H Army was founded, which achieved an unexpected and miraculous resistance.
‘’The courage was decisive, the love of our people and patriotism towards the country. They fought for the integrity of the country, for its constitutional order, for the equality of every citizen of B&H’’, said B&H presidency member BakirIzetbegović.
He pointed out that the Army of B&H has been integrated into the B&H Armed Forces and continued its mission in the country and in the world, and said that ‘’these missions are welcomed to spread the good name of B&H and to do their job well’’.
Chairman of the B&H Presidency ŽeljkoKošić said that B&H went through difficult times and survived, but that the same thing is happening today to us, what we are going through and it appears to us that this is the most difficult thing that a person can imagine.
‘’A person is proud. This is the day when the Army of B&H began to be formed, so memories return, from which it all began, how many people there were and all that had happened. There are reasons as to why a person should be proud of that. The pain will always remain for friends and the people who are not here any longer. At every cemetery there is someone that I knew. B&H has its historical, cultural and political establishment, because if it did not have these things then it would have disappeared a long time ago’’, said ŽeljkoKomšić.
The central ceremony marking the 22 years since the formation of the Army of B&H and the 9th anniversary since the second infantry regiment of the B&H Armed Forces will take place tomorrow in the barracks “AdilBešić” in Bihać, which will include the presence of senior military officials, representatives of civil authorities of B&H, FB&H, cantons and municipalities, and representatives of international military organizations and military-diplomatic corps accredited in B&H, veterans’ organizations and other guests and officials.