I’m not really knowledgeable enough to comment on the Siege of Sarajevo or the Bosnian war but there is one thing thing I will never forget and one person I will never forget Irma Hadzimuratovic.
Some say she was just a token to detract from the failures of the UN, but to me she will always be a little broken 5 year old girl who symbolises the horror of war.
Following extract taken from the BBC – August 9th 1993
“She was seriously injured by a Serbian mortar bomb 10 days ago which killed her mother and 14 others in a market square in Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo.
Her trip here was delayed by red tape and she was close to death before the British Government arranged to fly her to the UK.
The RAF flew her out of Sarajevo with her father, Ramis, and three-year old sister.
The Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, said Britain had decided to act because Irma’s condition was deteriorating rapidly.
“She obviously needs treatment that she can’t possibly get in Sarajevo and it’s very urgent and therefore procedures had to be cut through,” Mr Hurd said.
Three children a day are dying violent deaths in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.
Dozens are waiting for emergency evacuation for medical treatment.
Mr Hurd said the government realised helping Irma would not reduce the scale of the problem.
“But because you can’t help everybody it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help somebody,” Mr Hurd said.
I would have linked to the Wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irma_Hadzimuratovic but unbelievably that page just automatically redirects to a page about Operation Irma – how disrespectful is that?
She may have just been a pawn in the political world but please let’s not forget little Irma Hadzimuratovic was a little girl who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
On April 1 1995, Irma Hadzimuratovic died in her sleep.