In our partner cities in the Balkans, planning for this year’s peace camps and other activites is in full swing. Besides the big peace camp for new interested youngsters, which will take place in Seget Donji again this year, there will be several weekend visits and a camp for long-time activists of the Youth United in Peace network, this time in Tuzla in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In Tuzla and other cities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, early municipal and mayoral elections have just taken place. The early elections had become necessary because former officeholders now hold offices at the federal level after the parliamentary elections in 2022. Vlasta M., who is joining regional coordination of Vacation From War this year, writes: “After 22 years, there is a change of mayor in Tuzla, although the new mayor belongs to the same party as the previous mayor. (…) After the parliamentary election of 2022, the people of Tuzla had to endure a second, painful political campaign in a short time. Not only is a lot of money spent on election campaigns, but also votes are secretly bought and, in addition, countless election posters litter the city, they are everywhere and no one clears them away after the election. And parties make many empty promises to get votes. After the elections, there is not even a political change (…). The fact that of a total of around 110,000 registered voters only 24,000 went to the polls proves that the people and the youth are tired of politics. There are many reasons for this, but it is one more reason to encourage young people to get involved and think about peace and progress so that they will go to the polls tomorrow (…). The Youth United in Peace network is not only a peace movement, but also a wind of change for participation in important social changes.“