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Genocide During The Bosnian War Essay

1300 words - 6 pages

Raphael Lemkin described genocide as "acts of barbarism that should be outlawed, even in times of war". Lemkin is right. Genocide is a cruel vicious act that I do not wish upon my greatest enemies. It is torture and death. A lot of people think genocide is a thing of the past. After all it is 2014 already. We are so much more advanced and connected then back during the time of the Holocaust. A genocide started just 22 years ago and it was during the Bosnian War. The Bosnian Genocide was atrocious because it classified and dehumanized a religion, it allowed for the extermination of a people based on religion and the murderers denied they ever committed a crime and tried to cover the deaths up.
The Bosnian War took place in the republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This region was ethnically and religiously diverse. There were three main ethnic groups: the Serbs, the Croats, and the Muslims. "In 1991, the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina stood at 4.5 million"(Ching). Forty Four percent of this country (which is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of West Virginia) population were Muslim, thirty three percent was Serb, and seventeen percent was Croat. There were also small communities of Roma (often called Gypsies), Jews, and ethnic Albanians. Because the towns in Bosnia were typically mixed communities, Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian Croats, and Bosnian Muslims were all friends and neighbors. They even intermarried (Ching). Being so ethnically diverse led to a lot of conflict.
The Balkans also, had alternating periods of peace and conflict. For example, " The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by the Serbian nationalist group, the Black Hand, ignited World War I."(Bosnian Genocide). A communist resistance army expelled the Nazis in 1945 and declared Yugoslavia to be a new independent communist state, led by Marshall Tito during World War II. A lot of political men rose to power including one man named, Slobodan Milosevic who was elected President of the Republic of Serbia in 1989. "Historians largely blame him for the start of the Bosnian War"(Ching). He had a " vision of an ethnically pure Serb-dominated state"(Bosnian Genocide). In March 1992, Bosnians held a referendum on independence and nearly all Bosnian Serbs boycotted the vote. But of the others who did vote, more than 90 percent wanted independence from Yugoslavia. Bosnian Serbs declared their own independent state, Republika Srpska, and it was formed out of the Serbian Autonomous Regions. The Serbs soon began attacking the largely defenseless Bosnians (Bosnian Genocide).
At the start of the war the Serb army went about ransacking and burning the homes of Bosnian Muslims. Serbs began arresting and executing leaders among the Bosniak and Croat communities. The Serb army added 80,000 armed and well-trained soldiers to its ranks from the departing Yugoslav National Army. The Serbs main obstacle that stood in the way of a Bosnian Serbian state was the many non-Serbs living...

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