During the siege, the only link between Sarajevo and the outside world was an 800m-long, 1m-wide, 1.6m-high tunnel. Known as the Tunnel of Hope, it ran between two houses on opposite sides of the airport runway.
At this time, there were only two free zones in the whole city. One in the neighbourhood of Dobrinja, and the other one in Butmir. Members of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina came up with an idea to dig a tunnel below the airport and to connect two free territories.
“The tunnel was built to support the Bosnian Army, to bring in the food, medical, weapons and ammunition for the city of Sarajevo,” Aldin explains. “The tunnel provided a lifeline, transporting anything that could be brought in to help the people to survive the siege.
“It was also used to take out the wounded, to get medical help. In Sarajevo there was a hospital, but with poor equipment and no electricity. So, anyone seriously wounded needed to get out for a better chance of survival.
“There was a protocol – you needed a special permit from the Ministry of Defence to pass through. It was not just open to everyone.”
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