Presentation on theme: "Bosnian Genocide. Map Background Bosnia is one of several small countries (about a third the size of England) that emerged from the break-up of Yugoslavia."— Presentation transcript:
Background Bosnia is one of several small countries (about a third the size of England) that emerged from the break-up of Yugoslavia. Population of 4.5 million. Bosnia-Herzegovina is a mountainous country. a multicultural country created after World War I by the victorious Western Allies. Captured by Nazi Germany in WWII but gained independence again after German defeat. Joseph Tito was the communist leader who reunified Yugoslavia.
Yugoslavia was a mixture of ethnic and religious groups that had been historical rivals, even bitter enemies, –Serbs (Orthodox Christians), –Croats (Catholics) –and ethnic Albanians (Muslims). Maintained ties with the USSR and the US during the Cold War, playing one superpower against the other. When he died in 1980 Yugoslavia went into political and economical turmoil. New Leader was Slobodan Milosevic who rekindled a lot of the religious hatred between groups.
The Genocide occurred because of the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. (Former countries were wanting independence.) –In June 1991, Slovenia and Croatia (regions in Yugoslavia) both declared their independence resulting in civil war. Slobodan Milosevic ( a Serb) was the leader of Yugoslavia. He didn’t care about Slovenia (no Serbs – actually he was pushed out by the Slovenians) Instead he focused on Croatia where Serbs were a minority.
Fighting Begins Croatia Milosevic's forces invaded in July 1991 to 'protect' the Serbian minority. They bombarded the outgunned Croats for 86 consecutive days and reduced a main city to rubble. The Serbs began the first mass executions of the conflict, killing hundreds of Croat men and burying them in mass graves. The response of the international community was limited. An arms embargo was imposed for all of the former Yugoslavia by the United Nations. (Didn’t help because Serbian forces were best armed forces in the region.)
In April 1992, the U.S. and European Community chose to recognize the independence of Bosnia, (a mostly Muslim country) Milosevic attacked Sarajevo (Bosnian Capital) Serb snipers continually shot down helpless civilians in the streets, including over 3,500 children. Fighting turns to Bosnia
Serbs began to roundup local Muslims similar to the events that occurred under the Nazis. The term “ethnic cleansing” was coined during this time.
Response to Serb Actions Despite media reports of the secret camps, the mass killings, and the destruction of Muslim mosques and historic architecture, the world community remained indifferent. The U.N. deployed troops to protect the distribution of food and medicine to dispossessed Muslims. the U.N. strictly prohibited its troops from interfering militarily against the Serbs. An arms embargo was imposed earlier, now economic sanctions were imposed. Throughout 1993, confident that the U.N., United States and the European Community would not take militarily action, Serbs in Bosnia freely committed genocide against Muslims.
Breaking point In February1994, a marketplace in Sarajevo was struck by a Serb mortar shell killing 68 persons and wounding nearly 200. This got the world’s attention. Because of international media attention, calls for military intervention against the Serbs began. President Clinton gave warning to Serbs and Milosevic through NATO demanding that the Serbs withdraw from Sarajevo. The Serbs quickly agreed and a was declared. UN peacekeepers went in, to build safe spots, but the Serbs attacked the safe spots and attacked the peacekeepers. NATO troops responded. The Serbs retaliated by taking hundreds of U.N. peacekeepers as hostages and turning them into human shields. Some of the worst genocides began.
NATO began massive strikes which hurt the Serbs badly. BBC ON THIS DAY | 5 | 1994 BBC ON THIS DAY | 5 | 1994 Faced with the heavy NATO bombardment and a string of ground losses to the Muslim- Croat alliance, Serb leader Milosevic was now ready to talk peace. A cease-fire was struck and NATO sent in 60,000 troops to protect it.
Aftermath By the time the UN went in, over 200,000 Muslim civilians were murdered. More than 20,000 were missing and feared dead,while 2,000,000 had become refugees. This genocide was, according to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke, "the greatest failure of the West since the 1930s." Milosevic was charged with genocide by the UN but he constantly objected to and denounced the credibility of the charges. Milosevic to face genocide charge Milosevic to face genocide charge Milosevic’s trial never finished, there were several delays due to judges resigning and Milosevic’s health. Milosevic was found dead in his jail cell in March of 2006. Historic bridge reopens in Bosnia Historic bridge reopens in Bosnia
What Issues arise from this event? There are echoes of the Holocaust here too. –How easy is it to imagine the Bosnian conflict taking place in your own part of the world? If it seems unlikely, what are the conditions that make it so? Could those conditions be created in areas where conflict is likely? Issues arising from Bosnia include the huge problem of displaced persons and refugees - and asylum-seekers. There is also the issue of military intervention to stop war. Military intervention sustains people's belief that armed conflict will always be the way to go. The UN and world leaders ignoring the whole event.
Quick facts to write: The former Yugoslavia was a mixture of ethnic and religious groups that had been historical rivals and bitter enemies, –Serbs (Orthodox Christians), –Croats (Catholics) –and ethnic Albanians (Muslims). Bosnia emerged from the break-up of Yugoslavia. Slobodan Milosevic rekindled a lot of the religious hatred between groups. Genocide occurred because regions were wanting independence. Serb forces started mass execution of the Croats then turned attention to Bosnia once they declared independence. The term “ethnic cleansing” was coined during this time.
The UN and other countries did very little (trade sanctions) until a marketplace in Sarajevo killing many innocent civilians. International media called on action. UN and NATO troops were sent in. Safe spots were created. Some UN officials were captured and held hostage. NATO conducted massive strikes against Serbs. Ceasefire achieved after 200,000 people were killed and 2,000,000 displaced. Milosevic was arrested and face UN war tribunal but died before it concluded.