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Sarajevo had been besieged for 15 months when we entered it, the first group of civilians to do so, in August 1993. Peace Lines was born that year, on the narrow mountain track under control of the U.N., known as the "Diamond Road", which alone connected the Bosnian capital to the rest of the world. It dawned on us very soon that humanitarian assistance alone (food, blankets, clothes, medicine) could not solve anything. It was crucial, above all, to obtain the silence of weapons. In that spirit, we contributed to the rapprochement of Croats and Muslims (from Travnik, Zenica) in Middle Bosnia, until the February 1994 cease-fire. On the other side of the conflict (Serbs against Bosnians), strong, recognized voices had to be heard.


It was then we started our first Campaign for a Final Cease-Fire, with 33 Nobel laureates (among them Mother Teresa, Mgr Tutu, le Dalaï Lama, Elie Wiesel, Yitzhak Rabin, Vladimir Prelog, Jean Dausset, Rita Levi-Montalcini, et les Présidents Arafat, de Klerk, Gorbachev...) et autres personnalités (Coretta Scott King la veuve de Martin Luther King, Joan Baez, Martin Gray, Jules Roy...)) and other personalities (MLK's widow...), plus 7 European parliamentarians. This Call was broadcast repeatedly, on most radios and TV channels, by the Bosnians, the Croats, and the Serbs, from April 1995, in Zenica, Sarajevo, Kiseljak, Mostar, Pale.


Through the front-lines we also distributed large quantities of English texts, as well as some translated into Serbo-Croat, from Jean Giono, Henry Thoreau, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Stanley Milgram, William Blake, Leo Ferre, Bob Dylan, U2... Why books ? "Because we are sick and tired of being treated as bags of bowels!" the mayor of Sarajevo, Mr Kresevljakovic, had told us, in 1993. In Vitez, Vladimir Batinic, the father of the last victim of the conflict between Croats and Muslim Bosnians, Mario, 11, recorded a message for Martin Gray : "During the Vitez siege, reading your book In the name of all my people, saved my life, after my son's death"