Last month, Bosnina peacebuilder Vahidin Omanovic gave a guest lecture on our behalf to academics and students of the War Studies Department at King’s College London. Talking about ‘Prospects for Peace in Bosnia’, Vahidin spoke personally of his experiences during the war, his early life as a refugee in Slovakia and, finally, how he overcame his hatred to build peace in Bosnia. Co-founder of the Centre for Peacebuilding, Vahidin has worked tirelessly over the last 10 years to tackle the bitter legacy of war that remains in Sanski Most, northen Bosnia. When he began his grassroots peacebuilding work, Vahidin encountered hostility and suspicion – but now organises popular annual Peace Camps for all members of society.
When asked if Bosnia has found peace, Vahidin talked positively about the absence of violence: there are no guns on the streets or tanks on the roads. But speaking frankly about the ‘state of peace’, Vahidin wasn’t so sure – what level of peace, and peace for whom? Peace as experienced in Bosnia, he said, can only be described as ‘stale’.
A recording of the guest lecture and a short interview can be found here.