Bosnia and Herzegovina War
Is war and international armed conflict that took place between a group of multi-ethnic and religious countries from March 1992 until November 1995 and many countries intervened as parties to this war.
In the early 1990s, attention was directed towards the largest Balkan countries, Yugoslavia, the communist-ruled country since World War II, which succeeded in merging the seven countries (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo) into one state, one of the strongest countries in the region under the leadership of Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito.
With the death of this man, nationalist movements in these countries began to emerge, and the voices of independence from Yugoslavia emerged.
Slovenia began to secede in 1991, followed by Croatia and Macedonia, but when Muslims in Bosnia demonstrated the intention to secede, they were opposed by Bosnian Serbs led by Radovan Karadzic, who is loyal to the Serbian capital of Belgrade and threatened with genocide if they disengaged from the Republic of Yugoslavia.
Indeed, Bosnia and Herzegovina declared secession from Yugoslavia in March 1992 after 99% of the Bosnian Muslims agreed to a referendum on this resolution, and the war started>
Three years began in April 1992 and until November 1995 Bosnia and Herzegovina witnessed the worst crime of this century after World War II.
Causes of war and influencing factors:
- Multi-ethnicity in Bosnia:
- This country is home to three races. The largest ethnic group in the country is Muslims, with 44% of the population. Orthodox represents 31%. Catholics represent 17%. Muslims are called Bosnian Muslims, Orthodox are Serbs, and Catholics are Croats.
- The difference in the referendum on independence in 1992:
- All parties held a referendum on independence on February 29, 1992, which was rejected by political representatives of the Serbian side, who boycotted the referendum and objected to it, and established their own republic.
- Herzegovina declared its independence and welcomed it internationally, while Bosnia was supported by the Serbs with the support of the Serbian government and the Yugoslav People’s Army, which mobilized its forces within the Republic to secure Serbian territory, the war quickly spread throughout the country, accompanied by the ethnic cleansing of the Bosnian Muslims and the population of Croatia, especially In eastern Bosnia.
- The Serbs and Croats dream in establishing the state of “Great Serbia”.
- Serb and Croat alliances against Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
- The conflict was initially regional, between the army of Muslims on a hand and the forces of the Croats and the Serbs opposing their independence on the other, and the participation of Croats in the war aims to secure their parts in this country and ensure the continuation of their interests.
- The political leadership of these two forces agreed to the agreements to divide the state’s land between them. This led to war, that war was marked by bitter fighting, indiscriminate bombardment of cities and towns, ethnic cleansing and organized gang rape, mainly by the Serbs and by a lesser extent of the Bosnian Croat forces, and after the war, they were charged with war crimes and genocide crimes.
- Siege of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Serbian and Croatian forces:
- On April 6, 1992, Serbs and Croats began to cut off contact between Muslims and the population opposed to Greater Serbia to be isolated from the food, utilities, and communications areas. For three years, the food was scarce and more than 12,000 people were killed during 43 months of blockade throughout Bosnia, Nationals of the Bosnian Serbs and the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) began an ethnic cleansing program for the establishment of pure Serbian territory.
- Entire villages were destroyed and thousands of Muslims were forced out of their homes, where they were transported to places of detention, rape, and torture, rape was systematic and militarized to destroy families and communities.
- International and Arab-Islamic interference:
- During the Serbian and Croatian aggression on Bosnia, Bosnian Muslim leader Ali Izzat Begovic called upon the international community and the Arab and Islamic countries to help his people with weapons, food, medicine, and aid to stand up to this brutal aggression.
- During the war years, some subsidies came. Day after day, the Bosnian fighters and some Arab and Muslim fighters managed to recover many towns and villages from the grip of Serb and Croat criminals until they arrived near the Bosnian Serb capital of Banja Luka.
- The international community led by America intervened to stop this progress and then stop the war in November 1995, by forcing the Muslim side to sign the Dayton peace treaty, which led to the division of Bosnia between Muslims and Serbs.
- After the horrific massacres by the Serbs and Croats, and after the intervention of the United Nations and the United States of America, the two parties reached an agreement after strenuous attempts on 21 November 1995 in the general framework of peace in this country and was signed in Paris on 14 December, and the implementation force led by NATO began the process of implementing peace across the country on 20 December 1995.
Bosnia and Herzegovina War in numbers:
These are some of the figures that resulted from the Bosnian and Herzegovina war and the aggression of the Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats against the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina:
- More than 200,000 dead.
- Two million refugees (half of the population).
- 60,000 cases of rape.
- More than 26 massacres against Bosnian Muslims – the only known one is the Srebrenica massacre – which more than 12,000 Bosnian Muslims were massacred in a single day.
- Siege and starvation of Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, during the three years of war.
- Ethnic cleansing of most Bosnian villages and towns, and the replacement of Muslims with Serb civilians.
- The destruction of more than 650 mosques in the cities and villages of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the burning of more than 1.5 million books and manuscripts.
The main objective was the elimination of Muslims and Islam from Bosnia and Herzegovina in full and to this day mass graves are discovered and funeral rites and read the Koran to the souls of martyrs.
Beyond the War
In the two decades since the end of the war, more than 160 Serbs have been brought before the International Court of Justice for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Among the most prominent suspects is the former Serbian president Slobodan Milošević, who was found dead in a cell in 2006, and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and the commander of the Srebrenica massacre, General Ratko Mladic, before the International Court of Justice.
Despite Bosnia’s involvement in European society, security, stability, tourism and investment, and the desire to join the European Union, but the streets of the cities and villages of Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to witness the effects of this war, the walls of some buildings in Sarajevo are full of traces of bullets and streets have not been free of the effects of the missiles, and If not, the memory of the Bosnian people did not forget the aggression, and the families of the victims did not and will not forget their loved ones.