Feature 14 Feb 17

Bosnia’s Divided Stolac Braces for Disputed Poll Rerun

The town of Stolac has been economically depressed and divided by post-war political and ethnic tensions, exacerbated by violence at last October’s local election, which is now set for a rerun.

Igor Spaic BIRN Stolac
Stolac. Photo: Igor Spaic

The morning is the most dynamic part of the day in the small, picturesque town of Stolac - but not because its residents are rushing to work.

With twice as many unemployed people as those who have jobs, men and women of working age gather for a morning coffee in one of the few downtown cafes.

The one called Carsija, across from the mosque, starts filling up shortly after eight. So does the Corona café nearby.

Yet rarely do the two cafes’ customers mix. They are not only separated by a street, but by a deep ethnic division that has been strangling Stolac ever since Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

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