Bosnian Independence and The Results Following Up To The Genocide of 1995

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In the spring of 1992 Yugoslavian civilians in Bosnia voted in a referendum on independence for the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina from SFR Yugoslavia resulting in a 99.7% 'YES' vote. The holding of this referendum was the result of mass civil unrest in Yugoslavia. The elections held across Yugoslavia in 1990 caused major political tension. These elections were the first free elections in Yugoslavia since the abolition of monarchy and the formation of Yugoslavia as a socialist state in 1943. This newly found freedom for the people to elect chosen representatives saw the cultural and ideological differences of Yugoslavs magnified. The unrest that spread across the state in the form of ethnic-nationalism resulted in independence movements, both democratically (like that of The Bosnia and Herzegovina Independence Referendum), as well as through violent protest. Yugoslavia from 1991-1992 broke up into various self-proclaimed sovereign states with overlapping territorial claims and political views causing The Yugoslav Wars.

Among the states to declare independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia those which remain political entities today are Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Albania. Those which now cease to exist as independent entities and encompass modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina are The Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia, and The Republika Srpska. Another state which formally declared independence from Yugoslavia was The Republic of Serbian Krajina, which included portions of Croatia claimed by Serbians.

The aforementioned four states claiming territory in modern-day Bosnia were formed by different parties supporting their ethnic groups, religious beliefs, and political ideologies... with the exception of Western Bosnia; this region was a state governed solely by Fikret Abdić, a powerful Bosniak politician and businessman who agreed to work with both the Croatian and Serbian governments as well as Serbian paramilitary groups against the Bosnian Republic. Bosnia at the time was, and today is home to the South-Slavic ethnic groups of Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats. These groups all have distinct cultures, follow different religions, and speak different forms of the Serbo-Croatian tongue.

With these ethnicities concentrated in different portions of Bosnia the region was broken into Croatian Herzeg-Bosnia, The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and The Republika Srpska. Croatian Herzeg-Bosnia was governed by The Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina; a right-winged party supporting Catholic values that most Croats followed, this party and the state it governed worked with Croatia in the Bosnian war. The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was governed by The Party of Democratic Action, a centrist party dedicated to Bosniak Nationalism, supporting left-winged economic policy and right-winged social policy as well as...

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