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PRESERVING THE ITEMS THAT WITNESSED HISTORY

A Soldier's Guide to Bosnia

A Soldier's Guide to Bosnia

United Nations peacekeeping force failed to prevent the war in the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. After the signing of The Dayton Peace Accord on 14 December 1995, NATO and other international forces had been standing by to provide a peacekeeping force to implement the anticipated accord. Out of 60.000 troops deployed in Bosnia to monitor the ceasefire, around a third were American soldiers.

 

 

First US peacekeepers arrived in Bosnia in December 1995. Their tasks included: overseeing the removal of heavy weapons from the frontlines and the demarcation of the boundary between Bosnia's constituent entities, distributing humanitarian aid, and landmine removal. The US troops destroyed heavy weapons, tanks, APCs, fortifications and artillery, and confiscated military weapons from civilians. Not a single American soldier lost his life in combat during the mission in Bosnia.


 

The US Army issued a 16-page pamphlet to troops in Bosnia, containing useful phrases and pieces of information.  The pamphlet contains basic informations like the geographical position of Bosnia, its climate, demographics, religious map, the capital city, time zone, and currency.


 

The pamphlet also informs soldiers about the latest conflict in Bosnia and warring sides, their units, with descriptions and pictures of their insignia. It educates soldiers about the local customs and traditions and warns of the dangers of certain behavior, like hand gestures.


 

 ‘’The following hand gestures should not be used: the peace sign using the index and middle fingers; and, a three-fingered gesture using the thumb, index, and middle fingers held apart and upright from the palm. The first is an informal greeting used by the Croats, so it would be very offensive to Serbs; the second is a gesture used by the Serbs, so it would be very offensive to Croats and Bosnian Muslims. Either gesture could provoke a violent reaction.’’

 

 

The pamphlet also provides a list of 33 essential Serbo-Croatian phrases:

 

 

USEFUL WORDS, PHRASES
 

English

Bosnian, Croat, Serb

Pronunciation

Please

Molim

moleem

Thank you

Hvala

hvahlah

OK

U redu oo

rehdoo

Sorry

Zao mi je/Izvinite

zhaho meeyeh/eezveeneeteh

Excuse me

Izvinite

eezveeneeteh

Good morning

Dobro jutro

dobro yootro

Good day/Afternoon

Dobar dan

dobahr dahn

Good night

Laku noc

lahkoo nohtch

Good-bye

Zbogom

zbogom

Hello

Zdravo

zdrahvo

Big/Small

Veliko/Malo

vehleeko/mahlo

Right/Wrong

Tocno/Pogresno

tochno/pogreshno

Yes/No

Da/Ne

dah/neh

Good/Bad

Dobro/Lose

dobro/losheh

Man

Covjek/Muskarac

chovyehk/mooshkahrahts

Woman/Child

Zena/Dijete

zhehnah/deeyehteh

Refugee

Izbjeglica

eezbyehgleetsah

Up/Down

Gore/Dolje

goreh/dolyeh

Left/Right

Lijevo/Desno

leeyehvo/dehsno

Here/There

Ovdje/Tamo

ovdjeh/tahmo

Straight forward

Ravno/Pravo

rahvno/pravo

Road

Put/Cesta

poot/tsestah

Bridge

Most

most

Village

Selo

sehlo

Border

Granica

grahneetsah

Come here!

Dodite ovamo!

dodjeeteh ovahmo!

Come with me!

Dodite sa mnom!

dodjeeteh sah mnom!

Follow me!

Slijedite me!

sleeyehdeeteh meh!

Wait here.

Cekajte ovdje.

chehkieteh ovdyeh.

Let us pass.

Pustite nas da prodemo!

poosteeteh nahs dah prohdjehmo!

Don’t move.

Nemojte se micati/crated

nehmoyteh seh meetsahtee/krehtahtee

Stop!

Stojte!

stoyteh!

Put your weapon down!

Oruzje dolje!

oroozhyeh dolyeh!  




Following the successful conclusion of its mandate, United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina was terminated on 31 December 2002.


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