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Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Italy, Split, Switzerland
Mir Sada – Peace March 1993
The “Mir Sada (Peace Now) – We share one peace” international peace march was organized in August 1993. It was based on ideas of non-violent intervention and “people’s diplomacy”, which had previously inspired the “March of the 500”, when 500 peace activists mainly from Italy reached besieged Sarajevo in December 1992. The “Mir Sada” march’s aim was to reach Sarajevo again, but with many more participants and as an international initiative.
The main organizers were “Beati i costruttori di pace” and the French NGO “EquiLibre”, with an international coordination committee based in Geneva. Between 2.000 and 3.000 participants gathered in Split at the beginning of August 1993. Early on, the initiative faced major challenges due to logistical difficulties, coordination problems, and most seriously, the war’s escalation; in April 1993, the “war in the war” between the Army of BiH and the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) started and disrupted Mir Sada’s planned route. Part of the group entered BiH, but after several days, the initiative was abandoned and nearly all participants returned to Croatia. Only a small group of around 50 persons continued on their own and eventually arrived in Sarajevo, among them Gerard Spekman.
The difficulties surrounding “Mir Sada” prompted many discussions among and outside of activist groups. Some considered it a total failure, while others insisted that it had at least been an attempt to do something, even if the goals had not been achieved.