At at time when the trial of Radovan Karadzic reminds us all of the darkest days of the War in Bosnia (1992-95), it is important that we look also to the signs of progress, where community leaders have reached across the divides to try and build sustainable peace.
One such example comes from Zenica, a majority Bosniak city in central Bosnia. Here, the leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Nikolaj, has recently awarded the mayor, Husein Smajlovich, with official recognition on behalf of his church for the Mayor's efforts to support religious and ethnic tolerance in the city. Zenica has made particular progress in returning all property that was confiscated in the War in Bosnia to its original owners.
In presenting the award, Archbishop Nicolaj said:
"I have come here to thank you Mr Husein for the support and protection that you offered to followers of our Church. Our graveyards have been rebuilt, the houses of the refugees have been rebuilt, and the properties of the Orthodox church have been entirely returned to us. You and your town is helping us to return back to the levels of trust that we had before the terrible wars which have brought such sadness and tears to us all".