Feb. 9 - Hundreds gather in central Sarajevo to demand government resignations as anti-government unrest in Bosnia reaches its fifth day. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Protesters in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo blocked the streets in front of the presidency building for the fifth day on Sunday (Feb 9) as long-simmering anger over lack of jobs and political inertia fuelled more of the worst civil unrest in Bosnia since a 1992-95 war. The protesters chanted slogans to express their discontent with the government, unemployment and the widening gap between rich and poor: "We want resignations" they said, "Down with the government" and "I don't know what to do with myself." Earlier in the week the protesters tried to force their way into the presidency, but were repelled by special police firing water cannon. Observers could point to no single cause for the protests, which started on Wednesday in the industrial town of Tuzla, and spread to towns and cities across the impoverished former Yugoslav republic, where more than one in four of the workforce is jobless. The unrest is unprecedented in postwar Bosnia, where Serbs, Croats and Muslim Bosniaks have tolerated political stagnation for years rather than risk a return to conflict. Bosnia's recovery has been held hostage to an unwieldy power-sharing system based on ethnic quotas set in the U.S.-brokered peace deal that ended the war, in which an estimated 100,000 people died. Ethnic politicking has stymied governance and left the country trailing its ex-Yugoslav peers on the road to membership of the European Union, which neighboring Croatia joined last year.