Bosnian capital Sarajevo pays subdued tribute to resilience of its citizens who survived the longest military siege in modern history and commemorates thousands of others who did not.

Words reading
Words reading "in 1425 days over 11000 was killed" are displayed on the city hall in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on April 4, 2022. (AP)

Sarajevo has marked the 30th anniversary of the start of the infamous siege by Serb forces during the Bosnian war by paying special tribute to the victims of Russia's attack on Ukraine.

"What was not stopped in the 1990s in Bosnia is becoming even more visible across Europe and the world," Sarajevo mayor Benjamina Karic lamented on Tuesday at a ceremony, which took place in the National Library building, a symbol of the destruction during the siege of Sarajevo which is now rebuilt.

At the start of the commemorations devoted to the Bosnian capital's resistance during the 44-month siege, a minute of silence was observed in tribute to the victims of the war in Bosnia, but also "innocent civilians killed in Ukraine".

Bosnian Serb forces killed over 11,000 people during the siege which lasted from 1992 to 1996, including 1,600 children and teenagers. More than 50,000 people were injured.

"What was thought would remain in the history of human dishonour is coming back ... through brutality, destruction and fascist ideology in new clothes," said Karic, who was only one year old when the siege began on April 5, 1992.

"The world used to watch us suffer and now we just watch (Ukrainians) suffer and there is nothing we can do to help them," said Arijana Djidelija, a 52-year-old primary school teacher. 

"It is a very strange and difficult feeling," she added.

'Sarajevo never surrendered'

Today, the siege of Mariupol, in southeastern Ukraine, and the discovery of numerous bodies in town of Bucha, near Kiev, sending shockwaves across the globe, just as the brutality of the Sarajevo siege did three decades ago.

While speaking about Sarajevo, the mayor seemed to be seeking words of encouragement for besieged Ukrainian cities.

"From this city –– a symbol of resistance –– we say that despite all horrors, never lose hope and give up fighting for a better tomorrow," Karic said.

"Abandoned by almost everyone, without weapons, without electricity, without water, without food, without gas, Sarajevo never surrendered."

The Bosnian inter-communal war has left nearly 100,000 people dead.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies