Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

A Troubled Homecoming

Threatened by local Serbs on their return, Bosniaks in Klotjevac say their lives are not much better several years on.

A Troubled Homecoming describes the life of Bosniak returnees to the village of Klotjevac near Srebrenica. This village, along with many others in this part of Bosnia, was deserted during the war, after the area was taken over by Bosnian Serb forces. Many villagers were killed, some at the beginning of the conflict, some later, in July 1995, when the town of Srebrenica - where they had fled from Klotjevac - was overrun by the Bosnian Serb forces.

The Mesanovic family returned to Klotjevac in 2002, but they were not welcome there. They were threatened by local Serbs, though not physically attacked. They admit that the situation is slightly better today. Their main problem is that the village is almost completely cut off from the outside world. The nearest doctor is a two-hour drive away, and they don't have a car. Also, there are no schools anywhere near the village, and the surrounding forests are still full of mines, left there after the recent war. None of the Mesanovic family has a job and they have to live off their land.

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