Bosnia Civil War Essay

2909 words - 12 pages

The genocide in Bosnia started in 1992 and lasted until 1995 and it involved the massacre of the Muslims by the Serbs . The United Nations and the Great Powers of the world failed Bosnia in providing support and aid. To understand what went wrong during the crisis in Bosnia one must first look at the situation that existed there before the conflict. Bosnia is made up of three different ethnicities, the Muslims made up forty-five percent of the population, the Serbs made up thirty-three percent of the population and the Croats consisted of the remaining sixteen percent . The major difference between these ethnicities is not their language but their religions. The Muslims generally practice Islam, the Serbs were traditionally Orthodox and the Croats were mainly Roman Catholic, but the conflict between them was not so much based on their religion as much as nationalism (pg691) . The different ethnicities were not separated within Bosnia; instead they were all mixed together . For example, villages that were made up of mostly Serbs may surround a largely Muslim town . The different ethnicities would not interact with one another on a regular basis but they also were not separated into different and exclusive areas (pg691) . The tensions between these three ethnicities had been steadily rising throughout history but they were generally kept under control by outside forces . They were originally forced to co-exist under the Ottoman Empire, then a Serb monarchy forced them to cooperate and lastly it was Tito who installed order through Yugoslavia . After Tito passed away they each started to embrace the freedom they never had and that is when the violent ethnic conflicts started (pg691) . As well as the different ethnicity another part of history also had an impact of the conflict. There was an arms embargo in place against all of Yugoslavia and it continued even when the previous nation began to fall apart. This meant that the people within Bosnia were unable to practice collective or independent self-defense and it prevented the people from resisting the genocide (pg697) . All of this led up to a horrible genocide of the Bosnian Muslims by the Serb population. The United Nations did what it could to help but it ultimately failed. This essay will explore the reasons why it failed which include the role of the great powers at the time, the institution of the U.N. and the failures of the peacekeeping operations.
The Great Powers
Some of the problems within the operation in Bosnia came from the Western civilized world, which included France, Britain and the United States. At this time in the world the powers of the world did not want to get directly involved in conflicts unilaterally (pg6) . Instead they would participate in peacekeeping missions approved by the United Nations (U.N.) in order to give the appearance that they were getting involved in international affairs (pg6) . In order to keep up with the appearances they would give the illusion of...

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