Genocide in Bosnia

Bosnian War: 1992-1995

History of Bosnia
Ethnicity of Bosnia
Religion in Bosnia
Bosnia under Tito
Death of Tito: 1980
Bosnian War: 1992-1995
Srebrenica 1995: Ethnic Cleansing
Bosnia Today: Could Genocide Happen Again?
Links to Genocide in Bosnia

     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. 

Franjo Tudjman

President of Croatia during the Bosnian War.  Died in December 10, 1999.  Was an ultra-Croatian nationalist.  Supported Bosnian Croats during the Bosnian War.

Life of Franjo Tudjman

Alija Izetbegovic

Was Bosnian president during and after Bosnian War.  Died October 19, 2003.  Was a Bosnian Muslim activist during the years of Marshall Tito's rule in Yugoslavia.  He was imprisoned in the 1970's for supposedly trying to ignite a Bosnian Muslim revolt of Tito's rule.  He felt it was crucial for Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims to put their differences aside in order to defeat the Bosnian Serbs during the Bosnian War.

Life of Alija Izetbogovic

Slobodan Milosevic

President of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).  Died on March 11, 2006 while awaiting trial for war crimes he committed during the Bosnian War.  Milosevic dreamed of a Greater Serbia that would unite all Serbs under one flag.  He felt it was necessary to push out Bosnian Muslims from Bosnia at all cost.  This included the organization of detention camps and genocidal acts upon Bosnian Muslims. 

Life of Slobodan Milosevic

Radovan Karadzic

Former leader of the Republic of Srpska.  Currently he has a warrant on his arrest for commiting war crimes against Bosnian Muslims during the Bosnian War.  At first was an ally of Slobodan Milosevic, but as the Bosnian War came to an end Milosevic felt Karadzic was an achilles heel to the Serbian cause.  Currently he is at large.

Life of Radovan Karadzic

Ratko Mladic

Bosnian Serb general who gave orders for the Srebrenic massacre in 1995.  Mladic was indicted for war crimes that he committed during the Bosnian War. The United States has offered a 5 million dollar reward for his capture.  He is curently at large.

Life of Ratko Mladic

Below is a map where the Bosnian Serb army carried out genocidal acts upon Bosnian Muslims.


Below are links giving detailed information about how the Bosnian War started, the Bosnian Genocide, and the death of Slobodan Milosevic.

The origins of the Bosnian War

The War in Bosnia

Dayton Peace Accord

Was Slobodan Milosevic murdered?

Milosevic is dead