Carl Bildt: You can run, but you cannot hide! French and British journalists condemn Bildt’s presence in Sarajevo

11,541 empty red chairs in Sarajevo Photo: Amel Emric/AP

The message came loud and clear: Carl Bildt was not welcome nor did he deserve to be present in Sarajevo on Friday 6 April at the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the siege of Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Florence Hartmann and Ed Vulliamy confronted Carl Bildt as he, addle-struck, strolled among 11,541 red chairs placed in a Sarajevo street, symbolizing a river of blood, those murdered by the Serbian aggressor in the siege.

While most of the above video is in English, a part is not and, hence, here is the translation of the section from 1.03 to 1.49 minute, when Hartmann decided to speak in the local language in Sarajevo, explaining her outrage at seeing Carl Bildt there:

Well, because he didn’t do something, so the siege does not last for 1,500 days.

He had with his politics, that is, as representative of his country and the European Union, had not done anything to stop the torment in Sarajevo and the whole of Bosnia, that’s why I consider he has no place here.

I’m a free citizen of Europe and have a right to tell him and he has a right to continue to be here. I’ve expressed myself and, full stop.

That, why has he come here and that he does not deserve to be here. That is my expression … well you saw, he replied nothing”.

Both Florence Hartmann and Ed Vulliamy condemned Bildt’s presence in Sarajevo in no uncertain terms. The strength of their words serves such great justice for all the victims that fell during the 1990’s Balkan War.

Florence Hartmann, a French journalist and writer, worked for the ICTY for six years until 2006 as official spokesperson and advisor to Carla del Ponte (Chief ICTY prosecutor at the time). During her service at ICTY she wrote a book, Peace And Punishment, and an article in which she disclosed confidential documents on the involvement of the Serbian government in the Bosnian war in the 1990s.

On 19 July 2011, the Appeals Chamber of the ICTY upheld the first instance decision to convict Florence Hartmann of contempt of court for disclosing (in the book and article) the “legal reasoning” of two confidential appellate rulings of the UN Tribunal approving black-outs and exclusions from critical historical war documents showing Serbia’s involvement in the Bosnian war of the 1990s. She was fined 7,000 EURO. The fine was later converted into a seven-day prison sentence, for which the ICTY issued an arrest warrant. In December 2011, France refused to extradite her.

Florence Hartmann was the first journalist to discover in October 1992 the existence and location of a mass grave at Ovcara (Croatia) containing the remains of 263 people who were taken from Vukovar’s hospital to a nearby farm and killed on 20 November 1991 by Serb forces.

Ed Vulliamy, a British journalist and writer, reported on the Bosnian war particularly on Serb concentration camps of Omarska and Trnopolje where Croatians and Muslims were held prisoners in torturous, gruesome conditions.

Both Hartmann and Vulliamy arrived in Sarajevo Friday 6 April to participate in the commemoration on the siege of Sarajevo in 1992. Upon seeing Carl Bildt there they pulled no restraints in “giving” him what he deserves: a strong condemnation of his actions, or lack of them, in failing to stop the carnage in Bosnia.

Carl Bildt, Swedish foreign minister, was Sweden’s Prime Minister 1991 – 1994, and through functions in the EU had towed the line of lunatic proportions for Serbian aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Balkan War of 1990’s.  As EU chief negotiator, he acted atrociously in blocking every assistance to Croatians and Muslims during the war. He said Slobodan Milosevic was a nice man! Undoubtedly, Bildt was the force behind the European Union politics of equating the victims with the aggressors.

In 1995, dr Franjo Tudjman, Croatia’s president, declared Bildt persona non grata in Croatia; saying that Bildt had lost all credibility as peace mediator. Bildt was so set in support of Serbian butchery in Croatia that, when Croatia set out to liberate Serb occupied regions via Operation Flash and Storm, Bildt even had the hide to demand military operations by either OUN or NATO against the Croatian army. He did not succeed. It’s a shame that Croatia’s presidents after Tudjman’s death did not uphold Tudjman’s attitude toward Bildt and simply at least ignored his presence whenever he visited the country afterwards. But, never mind, others are doing a great job in this respect, and what a great gift for Easter is the confrontation and condemnation of Bildt in Sarajevo on Good Friday by Hartmann and Vulliamy! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. Carl Bildt- You can run, but you cannot hide!

  2. Tinna Nilsson says:

    It was the civilian chief at the UN that stopped all intervention for the UN and the UNPROFOR! EU incl Sweden was only for diplomatic talks. Nothing happend at Balkan until the US came. UN tried to negotiate between all parties. Carl Bildt could not do more then he did – and at the time I recall that everyone was grateful for his efforts. I guess that no-one in former Yuogoslavia is grateful even for the effort of the many soldiers that also lost lifes and tried their best to help solve problems.

    • Thank you on your comment. But the UN soldiers were supposed to be there as peace keepers and while they kept watch, massacres occurred before their eyes and I believe none said STOP. Diplomacy did nothing but disrespect the Croatian and Bosnian people’s democratic vote to secede from communist Yugoslavia, and allowed the Serbian onslaught until such time that Croatians and Muslims had to defend themselves to save their own lives. Diplomacy supported the Serbian minorities in those countries (and the former Serb-led Yugoslav army from Serbia) to continue aggression to the point of despair. Diplomacy should have respected the voice of over 90% of citizens of Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina who voted at democratic elections for independence from communist Yugoslavia. the UN soldiers should have barricaded the borders to Serbia so that no Serbs from Serbia could come to Croatia and Bosnia. There is no diplomacy in my book where democracy is not respected. There’s not much to be grateful for because hundreds of thousands of people were killed while diplomacy (bias) worked. And it was diplomacy that is responsible for the carnage, at the end of the day. The diplomats may not have carried a gun but those who did listened to what the diplomats were saying.

    • Tinna Nilsson says:

      The UN soldiers did not have a mandate to use weapons – only for selfdefense. Nor did Mr Bildt have any mandat – he was acting according to orders fr others. All UN-staff tried to negotiate to stop the war.
      When there is a war – there are only loosers. UN do not take part for one side – they care for all. I am very glad that we at least had the possiblility to bring in food and clothes to many people fr all sides. Warm clothes and shoes for the children as well as food.
      I am not for war – rather the opposite – and I am glad that I am alive today – but I do not forget all the lives that was lost during the years. Today I do a lot of charitywork – and some of us former UNPROFOR are still sending money and help to children in former Yugoslavia.

  3. Internet is wonderful, I clicked the link on comment Lasses blogg in Swedish and since I don’t understand that language I went onto Google and used one of Translation websites and, not to have this too long, the second last paragraph is translated as:
    “Moderates, and not least Carl Bildt love a war. We know that Mr Bildt lobbied to President Bush would attack Iraq. No moderate is for peace since war is more profitable. It is virtually impossible to make money on peace in the same way as it does for a war.”

    Very, very informative and interesting. Carl Buildt loves a war, that’s why he allowed the siege of Sarajevo and Balkan War to go on and on – loving Serb Slobodan Milosevic. Well, I wish that people like Bildt keep out of other people’s countries and create a war in their own country.

  4. Bravo Hartmann and Vulliamy. Bildt doesn’t, have the moral character to feel shame or guilt. He wonders around the chairs in a confused state wondering where he shall sit. Bildt should be tried for aiding and abetting a joint criminal enterprise.


  1. […] Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister, decided to reply to Florence Hartmann’s condemnation of his presence in Sarajevo’s commemoration of 20th anniversary…. […]

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