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The Causes Of The Yugoslav Civil War

2012 words - 8 pages

The war in Yugoslavia is often compared with images of Nazi Germany and Stalin's pogroms in the Soviet Union by historians. The Yugoslav Civil War began in October of 1991. Global Community worked through the UN, NATO, and the European Community to bring an end to the violence in 1999. However, Kosovo is still being rebuilt; indicted war criminals remain free; many of the provisions of the Dayton Accord are honoured only when external pressure is applied. In this paper I will focus on causes of the Yugoslav civil war that eventually led to the disintegration of the country. Popular and journalistic discussion of the reasons for the collapse of the Yugoslav state, as the professor of Interdisciplinary Human Studies at University of Bradford, John Allcock, argues, have often taken it for granted that its primary cause was the rise of nationalism. The country was destroyed by inner forces welling up from below, having their origins in popular sentiment. This is conveyed most vividly in the often-used metaphor that President Tito "kept the lid on the boiling pot" of national antagonism (Allcock, 2000:418). Other academics believe that the roots of the problem lay in the Communist system and, in particular, in a crisis proper to its elite. In other words, disintegration was a process driven from the top, not the bottom. Many scholars search for explanations of certain events in the historical legacy of the country. Therefore it is significant to explore the conditions under which the Yugoslav Civil War of 1991 had emerged.A state of Yugoslavia was founded in 1918 as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Montenegrins, and others. Over the course of its seventy-year history, writes Sabrina R. Ramet, Yugoslavia lurched from crisis to crisis, abandoning one unstable formula to another. First interwar between the nations of the Kingdom (1918-1941) resulted in renaming of the country into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929 (Ramet, 2003:3). During World War II the pro-Nazi Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was created, which, with its Muslim allies, attempted to kill, "ethnically cleanse," or convert to Catholicism the entire Serbian population of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The number of Serbs killed in this genocide has been estimated to be as large as 800 000 to one million (including some tens of thousands of Jews and Gypsies). Such episodes of ethnic hatred and religious fanaticism, argues Andrei Simić, only serve to underscore the fact that Yugoslavia was largely an artificial creation bringing together over eighteen Slavic and non-Slavic peoples (Simić, 2000:105).The establishment of a Communist regime in 1945 brought into power Josip Broz Tito who ruled the country for some thirty-seven years, guiding the country through a major crisis in relations with the Soviet Union, steering it through four constitutions, and creating a political formula centered on self-management in the economy, brotherhood and unity in...

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