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Calm restored in Bosnia-Herzegovina after protests turn violent
February 8, 2014, 7:44 pm

On Friday, protesters broke their way into the Presidential Building and set fire to some rooms on the first floor [Xinhua]

On Friday, protesters broke their way into the Presidential Building and set fire to some rooms on the first floor [Xinhua]


Major cities in Bosnia-Herzegovina were calm on Saturday as workers set about to clean trashed streets and buildings in the aftermath of four days of violent clashes between police and demonstrators protesting against government corruption and graft.

The protests, which were initiated by some 10,000 factory workers demanding unpaid salaries on February 4 in the northern Bosnian city of Tuzla, quickly spread to Mostar, Sarajevo, and Zenica as hundreds expressed their discontent over unemployment.

Within two days, the protests turned violent when hundreds of protesters clashed with police and set fire to the Presidential Building in Sarajevo.

Police used tear gas and hoses to disperse the protesters, as firefighters moved from district to district to put out the fires.

By late Friday, over 200 people – including some 40 policemen – were injured in the clashes.

Many Bosnians have said they had not seen such violence since the end of the Yugoslav civil war of the 1990s.

The war, which claimed the lives of over 100,000 people, eventually ended with Bosnia-Herzegovina divided into a Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Bosnian Serb Republic. Each is ruled by its own president, cabinet, and parliament.

The two entities also maintain distinct police and military forces.

But the war has also impacted the economy in the region. Unemployment in the Bosniak-Croat Federation is more than 27 per cent.

There is also growing disenchantment over the economy in the Bosnian Serb Republic.

Source: Agencies

 

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