City's youth saves its hardest words for West's inaction: The decision not to bomb the Serbs has angered Muslims, writes Emma Daly in Sarajevo

'WHY are you lieing (sic) to us' read one of three forlorn placards outside the UN headquarters in Sarajevo yesterday, 12 hours after the passing of Nato's deadline to the Bosnian Serbs. Some 15 young protesters stood on a mound of snow, surrounded by razor wire, beyond the sandbagged entrance guarded by French peace-keepers.

'We are here to protest about last night,' said Amir Telibecirevic. 'They should have been attacking the Serbs and their heavy weapons.' Instead, 'they want to split up Sarajevo'. 'We are all mixed - Serbs, Croats, Muslims, Jews - and we want to stay like that.' His friends nodded in agreement.

Mr Telibecirevic, 20, comes from Ilidza, a suburb held by the Serbs. 'We are refugees in our town,' he said angrily, adding that many friends who did not escape are dead. He lives in a grim concrete tower block in a flat that housed a Serbian family who fled to the other side 'of their own free will'. 'The man was a sniper,' Mr Telibecirevic said by way of explanation, and added, matter of factly: 'My father was killed on the front line by a sniper.'

He does not see air strikes as a deterrent but as a just punishment. 'We want the heavy weapons to be bombed because those are the weapons sending millions of shells on to our cities. But we know Boutros- Ghali (UN Secretary-General) does not want to act against the Serbs.'

Above, two Nato fighters roared by on a reconnaissance mission - but the rumble of jets cannot drown out the fact that Nato has lived down to Sarajevo's expectations.

A hand-painted poster in a darkened art gallery paraphrases an Elton John song: 'It's sad so sad, it's a sad, sad situation and it's getting more and more absurd . . . Sarajevo seems to be the hardest word.'

The poster is one of dozens reproduced in postcard form with black- market ink on black-market paper, which convey the feelings of Trio, a pair of graphic designers (the third member went to visit her boyfriend in Switzerland a month before the war and never came back).

'People think the cards are funny, but it's not sarcastic humour, they're stories about our life, the truth about our way of living, our way of thinking,' said Bojan Hadzihalilovic. 'I think that Sarajevans, 99 per cent, did not expect Nato to do anything. In that 1 per cent . . . we were afraid of the day after (and possible Serbian retaliation). But to get that satisfaction, we would be ready for anything.'

His wife, Dalida, was incredulous about the West's response to the market-place shell that killed 68 people. 'No one asked how many shells had fallen there before,' she said. 'I think about 30. I never went to the market because I expected shelling.'

Mr Hadzihalilovic said: 'We feel like convicts. Our destiny is that we will be in some kind of concentration camp. This is a fear echoed by many: perhaps the UN has stopped the butchery, but now what? The 'green line' scenario is mentioned often as a possible outcome, but for now there is a double siege, with the peace-keepers holding the inner line and the enemy holding the outer line.'

On the wall are cards commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 1984 Winter Games. On one the Olympic rings are made of barbed wire, on another of blood. A third bears the legend: 'The important thing in the Olympic Games is not taking part but winning.'

With a laugh, Mr Hadzihalilovic said: 'A friend of mine said 'I had a dream. I saw the sky above Sarajevo and I saw the planes firing rockets and I saw the explosions from the other side. And Sarajevans were lining the main street, applauding'.'

Such sentiments are widespread across the city. Outside Skenderija, an Olympic stadium now used as UN barracks, three girls were playing in the snow. Irna, an enchanting 10-year-old, seemed to be the ringleader. She wore gold earrings of fleurs-de-lis, the symbol of Bosnia, and she spoke for her people. 'I know that the UN wants to bomb the Chetniks (Serbs),' she said giggling. ' Of course I want it to too.'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £550 - £650

£550 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Traded Credit Risk - Investmen...

Data Insight Manager - Marketing

£32000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based o...

Data Centre Engineer - Linux, Redhat, Solaris, SAN, Puppet

£55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, WPF,BLL, MSMQ, SQL, GIT, SQ...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf