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Religion And Genocide In Bosnia Essay

1122 words - 4 pages

People have constantly killed other people throughout history. This is known as genocide. A genocide, according to the Collins English Dictionary, is “the policy of deliberately killing a nationality or ethnic group.” An example of this sort of mass murder would be the Bosnian Genocide. The Bosnian genocide began in Bosnia when the Serbs started to kill the Croatians and Bosniaks, and officially ended with the prosecution of war criminals within the Nuremberg Trials.
Before the Bosnian Genocide had officially started, Bosnia was politically split between three ethnicities: Bosniak (forty-four percent), Serbs (thirty-one percent), and Croatian (seventeen percent). The 1990 elections led to a government split by parties that represented each ethnicity of Bosnia. The Bosniak leader, Alija Izetbegovic, and the Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, did not agree with each other, so “[the] Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his Serbian Democratic Party withdrew from [the] government and set up their own ‘Serbian National Assembly.’” To the Bosnian Serbs’ displeasure, Izetbegovic named Bosnia independant from the “Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia.” The Serbs wished to become a Serb-dominant state, or a “Greater Serbia” by staying connected with the “Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia.” (History.com)
In response to the independance, only two days after being recognized by the United States and the European Community as independent, the Serbs attacked Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo, as well as the Bosniak-dominate towns Zvornik, Foca, and Visegrad, with the backing of Milosevic and the Yugoslav army (the majority of the Yugoslav army consisted of Serbians.) This was not when the genocide had officially started (it did lead up to it, though), since this action was recognised as “ethnic cleansing” (History.com) (the definition of “ethnic cleansing” is “the violent removal by one ethnic group of other ethnic groups from the population of a particular area,” according to Collins English Dictionary. Hence, the Serbs did not blatantly slaughter the Bosniak, but instead violently removed them from that area, which is not considered by definition a genocide.)
The Serbs had taken over most of Bosnia by 1995, leaving only three towns that were considered “safe-havens” back in 1993. Within about two months of time, the Serb forces had taken over one of the three towns, Srebrenica. (History.com) Apparently, Serb General Ratko Mladic was able to take over the town easily, with the United Nations Peacekeepers just watching, helpless to the situation. The United Nations Peacekeepers were not aloud to attack or get involved unless they were directly attacked or harmed, since they could only fight in self-defense. The Srebrenica massacre is considered the single largest killing since World War II. It is estimated that between 7,000 to 8,000 men were killed in this massacre in a single day. (Historyplace.com) First, men and boys were separated from the...

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