91 Years since the Birth of Alija Izetbegović: Man who was a Symbol of one Era

August 9, 2016 11:00 AM

Alija Izetbegović inreformator.baBy laying flowers and saying a prayer at the Martyrs’ Cemetery Kovači, Chairman of the Presidency of BiH and President of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) Bakir Izetbegović marked 91 years since the birth of the first president of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the supreme commander of the Army of RBiH, Alija Izetbegović.

Kovači were also visited by the federal Minister of Veterans’ Issues and Disabled Persons of the Defense-Liberation War Salko Bukvarević, Prime Minister of the Sarajevo Canton Elmedin Konaković, Minister of Education, Science and Youth of the Sarajevo Canton Elvir Kazazović, Mayor of the Municipality of Novo Sarajevo Nedžad Koldžo, President of the Main Board of SDA Halid Genjac, war commandant of the defense of Srebrenica Naser Orić, many other members and supporters of SDA and citizens.

Reminding those present of yesterday’s anniversary, Izetbegović said that it is necessary to preserve the memory of the man such as the first president of the Presidency of RBiH, who represents a symbol of one time in BiH.

“I think that the memory of the late Alija Izetbegović must be preserved because of us, because he symbolizes one time when we got our statehood back, when we remade the BiH army, when Bosniaks got their name back, when they got their language back – when a huge historical progress was made. Of course, cynics will say that the present situation is not much different from 25 years ago. However, if it were not for Alija and the Army of RBiH, it could be very much different, we could have the Bosniak corps divided into two armies – one under the symbol of the chessboard, and the other one under the Yugoslav People’s Army, and that those two sides fight between themselves about where to draw the line of the division of BiH. Therefore, the present time is significantly different, huge progress was made and enormous things were restored and it is on us to complete the process in the years that will come,” Bakir Izetbegović said.

Alija Izetbegović was born on August 8, 91 years ago. He was the first president of the internationally recognized state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, president of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian state and the supreme commander of the Bosnian army in the hardest period of its history.

Alija Izetbegović was born in 1925 in Bosanski Šamac. He grew up and went to school in Sarajevo, where he graduated from the Faculty of Law. He worked in several enterprises in Sarajevo as a legal advisor. He was incarcerated and sentenced twice for his political beliefs and activities. Izetbegović was sentenced to 14 years in prison in the politically mounted “Sarajevo process”, as one of thirteen Muslim intellectuals.

Izetbegović launched the establishment of the SDA and at the first assembly of SDA on May 25, 1990 he became the party’s first president. After the triumph of SDA in the first multilateral parliamentarian elections in 1990, Izetbegović was elected the first president of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After the first post-war elections in 1996, Izetbegović was elected the member of the Presidency of BiH and then the Chairman of the Presidency of BiH. After ten years of functioning as a member of the Presidency of BiH, due to health reasons Izetbegović resigned in 2000.

A statement by Richard Holbrooke, the creator of the Dayton Peace Agreement, will be remembered forever: “If it were not for Alija Izetbegović, there would be no Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

Alija Izetbegović passed away on October 19, 2003 and he was buried at the Martyrs’ Cemetery Kovači in Sarajevo.

(Source: akos.ba/photo: inreformator.ba)

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