Feb. 7 - Protesters across Bosnia set fire to government buildings and fought with riot police as long-simmering anger over lack of jobs and political inertia fuelled a third day of the worst civil unrest in Bosnia since a 1992-95 war. Mana Rabiee reports.
Bosnia entered its third straight day of violent clashes on Friday. Protesters have been venting their anger over privatization plans and unemployment. It's the worst civil unrest in Bosnia since its war in the 1990's. The protests began Wednesday in Tuzla, the industrial heart of Bosnia. That's where mostly laid off workers were angry over the closure and privatization of state-owned firms. But then the protests spread -- to town and cities across this impoverished former Yugoslav republic, where more than one in four worker is without a job. In the capital Sarajevo, thousands set fire to the central government building where they were met with rubber bullets. (SOUNDBITE) (Bosnian) 24-YEAR UNEMPLOYED GRADUATE OF PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICAL SCIENCES, HANA OBRADOVIC, SAYING: "It was our government which sold the state companies for peanuts, leaving people without their pensions, social security. Their families have nothing to eat while our politicians sit in these institutions and steal from people." The unrest is unprecedented in postwar Bosnia. This is where Serbs, Croats and Muslim Bosniaks have tolerated political stagnation for years rather than risk a return to ethnic conflict. Dozens were reported injured, mostly police officers. The government has called for an emergency session and called on protesters to negotiate.