In February of 1992 Croatia and Serbia were finalizing their peace plans to end the Croatian
War. Franjo Tudjman (Croatia) and Slobodan Milosevic (Serbia) decided at this meeting to finalize an agreement to decide
the fate of Bosnia after the war. Both men wanted to gain tremendous amounts of territories since they both believed
that their countries had ancestral claim to Bosnia.
At this meeting were the leaders of the three Bosnian communities that represented the ethnic
make up of Bosnia. The leader of the Bosnian Croat, Serb, and Muslim communities were in attendance. Milosevic
and Tudjman thought they came to a agreement on how Bosnia would be split up between Croatia and Serbia when all of a sudden
the Bosnian Croat leaders and Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic voted against the agreement.
On April 5, 1992 under the leadership of Alija Izetbegovic Bosnia declared its independence.
Western European nations along with the United States recognized Izetbegovic's Muslim party as the legitimate government of
Bosnia. The Bosnian Croat community along with the Bosnian Serb community were outraged that they now belonged to a
nation that was led by a Bosnian who was a Muslim.
Later in April of 1992 civil war broke out between Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Muslims
after Serb snipers opened fire on unarmed civilians demonstrating for peace in Sarajevo. Radovan Karadzic became
the leader of the Bosnian Serb rebellion and was a close ally to Slobodan Milosevic and Serbia. Karadzic wanted all
of Bosnia to reunite under Serbian rule to create Milosevic's dream of a Greater Serbia. Milosevic and Serbia gave economic
aid, military supplies, and troops to the Bosnia Serb army in their efforts to defeat the Bosnian Muslims for control of Bosnia.
It was at this time that Karadzic began to carry out orders from Slobodan Milosevic to ethnically cleanse Bosnian Muslims.
In northwestern Bosnia the Croat community started to wage war upon the Bosnian Muslim population.
In June 1992 the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna was set up at Mostar, and in November heavy fighting erupted between the
Croats and Muslims. The Bosnian Muslim community was fighting the Bosnian War on two fronts. To the west they
were fighting Bosnian Croats and to the east they were fighting Bosnian Serbs.
The Bosnian Serb Army began to ethnically cleanse northwestern Bosnia and the Drina Valley
of Bosnian Muslim men, women, and children. The Bosnian Serbs army set up detention camps and it was in these two locations
that the majority of the genocidal atrocities occured. Muslim men of fighting age were rounded up and sent to detention
camps were they were torturred and killed by the Bosnian Serb Army.
Detention camps are like concentration camps. Serbian detention camps were located in
places like Trnopolje, Omarska, Banja Luka, and Manjaca. In the city of Zvornik in the Drina Valley Bosnian Serb militants
exterminated between 4,500 to 7,000 Bosnian Muslims.
Radovan Karadzic, who was the Bosnian Serb president, visited London and informed
the media that there were no detention camps in Bosnia and offered to the media to visit Bosnia if they wanted. Karadzic
never thought the international media wold visit. They did and reporters like Roy Gutman, Ed Vulliamy, and Penny Marshall
showed the world through photographs, video, and articles the genocidal crimes that the Bosnian Serb military was committing
upon Bosnian Muslims.
The United States and NATO set safe zones in Bosnia where Bosnian Muslims would be safe from
genocidal acts committed by Bosnian Serbs. In 1995, the city Srebrenica was a safe zone that was attacked by the Bosnian
Serb Army. NATO and the Untied States did not have enough ground troops to protect Srebrenica from the Bosnian
Serb Army. The Bosnia Serb Army systematically killed roughly 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and buried them in mass graves.
By 1995, the Bosnian Serb Army was in full swing committing genocidal crimes with the support
of Slobodan Milosevic. The United States and NATO knew about this and warned Serbia to stop supplying the Bosnian Serb
Army and informed both the Bosnian Serb Army and the Serbian Army to withdraw from Bosnia and to surrender. Radovan
Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic both refused and the Untied States began a series of bombardments in Belgrade, Serbia and
also Bosnian Serb military centers. Karadzic did not want to surrender, but Milosevic agreed to meet in Dayton, Ohio
to stop the fighting.
The Dayton Peace Accord was signed on November 30, 1995. Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
and the Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) officially announced to respect each others sovereignty as independent
nations. Bosnia- Hercegovina was split up into two republics. This is kind of like states. The first republic
was called The Federation of Croats and Muslims and the second republic was called the Republic of Srpska. The national
Bosnian government would rotate with a Muslim president, Croat president, and Bosnian Serb president every three years.
Later Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic, and Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic were arrested
and indicted on crimes of genocide. Soon more Bosnian Serb and Serb military leaders were arrested and sent
to The Hague, Netherlands to stand trial in front of the international war crimes tribunal. Milosevic died in prison
at the Hague on March 11, 2006.