Veterans Still Protest at Tuzla

Veterans of the Bosnian war of the nineties who blocked main highways this week to draw attention to their frustration with the government abandoned the protest by Friday, except for those protesting in the northern city of Tuzla.

A group of former members of the wartime Bosniak-controlled forces are still holding an important intersection outside Tuzla closed for traffic. Some one hundred veterans refuse to leave the intersection, despite the harsh weather and temperatures that drop well below zero during the night. They pitched tents to protect themselves from snow.

The protest that began Wednesday in the Federation entity initially left hundreds of people trapped in their vehicles in freezing temperatures. The protesting veterans demanded additional benefits, which the entity government insists it cannot afford.

Although the main roads leading to major cities like Sarajevo and Zenica opened for traffic by Friday, the road to Tuzla is still closed. However, the traffic is rerouted to lesser-used roads leading to the city.

In southern Bosnia, a group of Bosnian Croat veterans attempted to block a major border crossing. The Bijača crossing is open for traffic, but the veterans pitched tents nearby.

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