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Convoys, Spreading information
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Goražde, San Sebastian, Spain
1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
The association SOS Balkanes was created in 1992 in San Sebastian. Within Spain, they were also active in other cities in the Basque Country and opened an office in Split (Croatia), as logistical base for the humanitarian convoys they organized to different parts of BiH during the war. Besides humanitarian convoys and helping Bosnian refugees who arrived in the Basque country, SOS Balkanes organized demonstrations, information campaigns and other activities, in order to denounce the project of “Greater Serbia” and the attitude of the UN, and to support an independent, undivided and multiethnic Bosnia and Herzegovina. They advocated for the lifting of the arms embargo and for BiH’s right to defend itself, rejecting the idea that neutrality was possible in face of such a war, as neutrality would be equivalent to support those who committed the crimes. “SOS Balkanes” was indeed convinced that real solidarity implied taking a clear stand, and they compared the situation with the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s: “Like the Koestlers, Hemingway, Orwells, and so many others (including many from Yugoslavia) who came to our aid when fascism opened fire on our freedoms 50 years ago, we have learned to recognize the culprits, to point the finger at them and demand their responsibility”, as they wrote in their newsletter in 1993. SOS Balkanes had chosen to name its newsletter “Oslobođenje”, as tribute to and in solidarity with the daily newspaper of Sarajevo which had become a symbol of resistance against the siege. The organisation continued to work in BiH after the war, especially in Goražde, and ceased its activities in 2011.