War and Peace in the Balkans: The Diplomacy of Conflict in by Ian Oliver

By Ian Oliver

The hostilities that observed the break-up of Tito's Yugoslavia ravaged the Balkans and generated essentially the most tragic episodes in smooth background. This ebook explores the heritage of the clash and it really is topics from an insider's point of view. during this autonomous and demanding account, Ian Oliver makes use of his broad event within the zone to guage the function of the foreign group in its responses to the conflict and the efforts to rebuild.

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Additional info for War and Peace in the Balkans: The Diplomacy of Conflict in the Former Yugoslavia (International Library of War Studies 4)

Example text

What was I to say to them, how did I explain that I didn’t really need a visa, did they speak English? To my utter relief, at the bottom of the stairs leading to the check point, stood Bisa, affectionately known throughout the Mission as ‘Bisa the Visa’. Bisa, like most Yugoslavian women in their twenties, was tall, slim, extremely attractive and dressed very elegantly. Her most important attribute however, was that she was carrying a board with my name on it. Processing through the airport took several minutes, infinitely quicker than processing through London Heathrow.

When you looked at these farms it was difficult to see what, if anything had changed in the last hundred years. The only signs that time had visited these parts, were the power cables bringing electricity into the dwellings and the odd dilapidated Zastava car parked outside by the gate. Other than that, you could still have been in the Middle Ages. After an hour on the dirt track, you reached the village of Krstac.

Most of the area surrounding these two hotels was a building site but without workers and without materials. Inside the Hyatt, the Mission completely occupied both the fifth and sixth floors. The former was used as office space whilst the latter was used as accommodation space, either for the permanent HQ Staff or for transiting Mission personnel like me. Armed bodyguards dressed in smartly pressed dark suits permanently controlled access to either floor. It was all very efficient and functional and whilst it appeared at first to be slightly ostentatious, it was probably the only workable solution as Belgrade simply didn’t offer an abundance of alternative office space nor ‘secure’ private living accommodation.

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