|How to act||
Convoys, Spreading information, Structural support
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Srebrenica, Trieste, Tuzla
1993, 1994, 1995
Italian Consortium of Solidarity (ICS)
It is estimated that around 10.000 volunteers from Italy participated on a regular basis during the war in activities in support and solidarity towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. They gathered in associations or informal groups. In 1993, the Consorzio Italiano di Solidarietà / Italian Consortium of Solidarity (ICS) was created in order to coordinate a fragmented spectrum of pacifist and humanitarian subjects, but also to provide them with a (loose) political framework. ICS was presented as a reference for “those who work in support of the victims of the war with solidarity initiatives aimed at building peace, defending and promoting inter-ethnic coexistence, respecting the human rights of individuals, minorities and peoples in the territory of the former Yugoslavia” (ICS Vademecum 1994).
ICS’s main activity was the organization of numerous aid convoys to different parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina throughout the war. Through public campaigns and other activities, they collected goods or money with which they bought food and other material which they then transported to BiH. Moreover, groups affiliated to ICS operated in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, supporting antiwar groups, deserters and independent media, working in refugee camps and promoting “long distance adoptions” of families or children by Italian citizens. In Italy, ICS was also active in welcoming refugees and informing the Italian public opinion about the war.
The example shown concerns an aid initiative after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995 ; the text says: “Help the refugees from Srebrenica. Thousands of refugees from Srebrenica arrived in Tuzla. They are injured, hungry, and abandoned. The volunteers of ICS are bringing first aid. We need your solidarity. Help us by paying your contribution on [bank account number]”,