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Alija Ibrahimpasic

Portrait Alija Ibrahimpasic

My name is Alija Ibrahimpasić. I was born in 1949. After the war, I witnessed an accident on the job on March 15, 1999, at eleven fifty-five in the morning. We were working on a landmine clearance team for the humanitarian organization called Handicap International. The accident happened at the site of some castle ruins near Oraćać, where there was a drinking water reservoir that supplied water to forty to fifty households. We'd already heard from some people who had returned to the area that it was supposed to have been mined – that there were minefields there.

On that day, we went to see for ourselves. We wanted to gather more detailed information so we could write an official report, which we could then pass on to Handicap International and other organizations working on demining. We wanted people's lives in these regions to return to normal.

So on that day – with what scant information we had – we headed there. We had found someone we believed knew the terrain better than we did, and he was supposed to guide us. Unfortunately, though this man who had been recommended to us said he knew the terrain well, he was not telling the truth, which became clear later.

Drawing by Alija Ibrahimpasic