16.03.1996 OHR Sarajevo

Statement of the Joint Civilian Commission for Sarajevo

Sarajevo, 16 March 1996

The Joint Civilian Commission for Sarajevo (JCCS) met today under the chairmanship of Ambassador Michael Steiner, with the participation of representatives from the Federation, the city of Sarajevo and representatives of the local Serbs. The JCCS discussed the current progress of the reintegration of the city of Sarajevo and decided on future directions of its work after March 19, when the full transfer of civil authority will be completed.

The participants expressed concern about all incidents of theft and threats toward citizens that occurred in areas that have been transferred to the Federation. All responsible authorities must take action to prevent these actions and ensure that all residents of Sarajevo may remain safely in their homes and that the perpetrators of such criminal activities will be promptly punished. The participants welcomed the enhanced presence of the Federation police, IFOR and IPTF in these areas.

The participants agreed that, in accordance with the February 18 Rome Statement and the February 14 JCCS Statement, the JCCS will continue to serve as the Advisory and Coordination Body for all matters pertaining to the implementation of the Peace Agreement in Sarajevo.

The JCCS agreed that the united and integrated city of Sarajevo should ensure full security and equal political and human rights for all citizens; that displaced persons should return in both directions in an orderly, phased and voluntary fashion; and that those Serbs who have left Sarajevo and free to return and reoccupy their homes. To this end the JCCS decided the following:

  • Federation authorities, in concert with IFOR and IPTF, will step up activities to ensure security for all residents in the areas of Sarajevo being transferred to the Federation.
  • All those who have left the areas being transferred to the Federation may return to their homes. Private property will be fully respected and protected. Apartments that are “socially owned” will be left available to those who have right to reside in them and who reoccupy them within six months. Necessary changes in existing legislation will be promptly undertaken.
  • Residents of Sarajevo in areas that are being transferred to the Federation who possess cars which do not have current Bosnia and Herzegovina registration will have three months in which to change the registration. During this period, they may drive those cars freely, provided that they have title of ownership and a valid drivers license. The participants agreed to request that the authorities in the Federation and the Republika Srpska, with the assistance of the Office of the High Representative, promptly establish the modalities for opening bus lines between Sarajevo and the Republika Srpska.
  • Utilities and telephone service will be promptly reestablish throughout the areas being trensferred to the Federation, including the ability to telephone across inter-entity boundary lines.
  • Serbs will enjoy all of the political, human and other rights guaranteed under the Rome statement. Serbs who wish to remain in Sarajevo have the right to continue to work in their professions, including in the fields of medecine, education and municipal administration.
  • Those Serbs who remain in the Federation have the right to receive their pensions and other social security benefits.
  • Serbs have the right to participate in the organization and government of the city of Sarajevo.

OHR Press Release
Sarajevo, 16 March 1996