This city of cruelly dashed hopes was slapped down again Friday when a brief respite from fuel and water shortages ended with a new cutoff of utilities.
As Bosnian Serb troop movements east of Sarajevo led to rumors of a possible new offensive, the mood in the besieged city headed for a new low."Sarajevo is back to square one," said Peter Kessler, a U.N. relief spokesman. "People are back to standing in line for water and scrounging for fuel."
Natural gas, restored Thursday after being cut off by besieging Serbs since June, was shut off again in the evening because of potentially dangerous leaks.
Though water service returned to some western suburbs after an overnight cutoff, the rest of the city remained without running water. There was virtually no electricity.
Without natural gas to supplement an emergency delivery of diesel fuel for a generator, Sarajevo's bakery was forced to close only hours after opening for the first time in 15 days.
Reports that Bosnian Croats were stalling relief convoys to central Bosnia caused further dismay, prompting one of the gloomiest assessments yet from the main U.N. relief agency.
"If we are unable to alleviate the plight of thousands of victims now, I fear the worst for the months to come," Sadako Ogata, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told a meeting of donor countries in Geneva.