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U.S. Department of State
96/08/15 Address to People of Bosnia-Herzegovina
Office of the Spokesman




                          U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                          Office of the Spokesman 
 
                         Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzgovena 
 
 
Text as Prepared for Delivery                        August 15, 1996 
 
 
                         LIVE TELEVISION ADDRESS 
                   TO THE PEOPLE OF BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA 
                                    BY 
                   SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
 
 
	Good afternoon.  It is a great privilege for me on behalf of 
President Clinton and the American people to speak directly to you, the 
people of Bosnia.  I came to Sarajevo today to see firsthand the 
progress you have made and the challenges you are overcoming.  I am here 
to reaffirm the support of the United States and the international 
community as you prepare to hold next month's historic elections -- and 
as you move to establish a democratic, multi-ethnic government. 
 
	Last December, the Presidents of Bosnia-Herzgovena, Croatia and 
Serbia chose peace when they signed the Dayton Agreement.  But only you 
can make the peace enduring and enable your country to succeed.  Now you 
will have the opportunity and the power to make your choice. 
 
	In fact, I can see that you are already choosing peace.  When I 
visited Bosnia six months ago, I saw the first glimmer of recovery from 
war.  Now the opposing armies are disengaged and demobilized, thanks to 
the tremendous work of IFOR troops from over two dozen countries.  And 
today in Sarajevo, I saw that the people of Bosnia are rebuilding their 
lives and their country in this summer of hope. 
 
	This morning I arrived at the Sarajevo airport just after it 
reopened to civilian traffic.  Step by step, Bosnia's isolation from the 
world is ending.  I saw the bustle of people shopping as I walked 
through the Sarajevo marketplace.   
 
	I understand that all around the country, you are beginning to 
live normal lives again.  Every newspaper that is published, every 
factory that is back in production, every school that reopens and every 
bus and train that runs throughout your country testifies to the 
indomitable spirit of you, the Bosnian people. 
 
	What I heard and saw today gives me great confidence -- confidence 
that hope can triumph over violence and tolerance over hate on September 
14.  With this election you will take back the power that was denied you 
for four long years by snipers and prisons, by tanks and mines. 
 
	Yesterday in Geneva, Presidents Izetbegovic, Milosevic and Tudjman 
joined me for the third time this year as we work together to overcome 
obstacles  
in the way of the lasting peace you deserve.  The three Presidents 
renewed their commitment to help ensure the conditions for democratic 
elections.  The agreements we reached will increase the chances that all 
the people of Bosnia will be able to move throughout the country freely 
and cast votes without fear of violence or intimidation. 
 
	Let me tell you why, on behalf of President Clinton, I am pressing 
your leaders so hard to enable these elections to succeed.    
 
	For us, democracy is a cherished ideal.  Today, throughout Europe, 
people long oppressed by the cruel hand of communism are beginning to 
share in the blessings of democracy.  Now you too have the opportunity 
to build a democracy of your own.  Your success will bring a better life 
to your country, and greater stability to this entire region. 
 
	After the votes are counted, the winners and losers, large parties 
and small, will all have the responsibility to come together, with the 
willingness to compromise and the determination to move forward.   
 
	This will not be an easy path to follow.  Securing the blessings 
of peace and democracy will require more than just an election.  I 
hardly need to tell you that we have a long way to go before there are 
jobs and homes for everyone and before the shadow of violence and hate 
disappears from your lives. 
 
	But I am convinced this is the only way to lasting peace and 
growing prosperity.  The path of extremism and intolerance -- as you 
know as well as any people in the world -- leads back to war and 
destruction.   
 
	Four years ago, a small minority began a war that most Bosnians 
did not want.  On September 14, the majority have a chance to be heard.  
I hope and I believe that you will choose a better future over the 
bitter past.  As you walk the path of peace, you can count on the United 
States and the international community to continue to walk that path 
with you. 
 
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