Bosnian War: The Most Tragic Civil War Occurred in Europe After WW2

Bosnian war, which is one of the tragic conflicts in 20th century, occurred after the Yugoslavia had been in unstable situation. There was a heroic leader in Yugoslavia, his name is Josip Broz Tito. In the age “the Cold War”, he did not ally with United States and Soviet Union and he became famous for one of the leaders of Non-Aligned Movement. Though Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic country, consisted of mainly Serbians, Croatians, and Bosniaks, there were few ethnic conflicts in the country because of his charismatic governing and bargaining. However, there are some arguments whether Tito’s governing or bargaining was a right way because one of the severest civil war occurred in this region after Tito’s death.

As I stated above, disintegration of Yugoslavia progressed after Tito had died. Yugoslavia was mainly comprised with Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia and Kosovo. Bosnian War occurred after the declaration of Independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. According to the article “BOSNIAN GENOCIDE”, Serbians in Bosnia “wanted to be part of a dominant Serbian state in the Balkans–the “Greater Serbia” that Serbian separatists had long envisioned”. After the declaration of independence, Serbian forces attacked Sarajevo. Thus, the huge disputes that continued about 3 years broke out. One of the famous tragic event is the Srebrenica Massacre, which is the accident that Army of Republika Srpska consisting of mainly Serbia people attacked the places that UN designated as safe-districts. Due to their attack, about eight thousands Bosniaks were killed in the area. It is also reported that there were massive acts of rapes and abuse of civilians during this attack. This accident was later regarded as the crimes against humanity and genocide by International Criminal Court (ICC). Finally, the Civil War ended with peace treaty and it was decided that Bosnia and Herzegovina consisted of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with Croatians and Bosniaks, and Republika Srpska with Serbians.

In classes and readings, we learned that there are a lot of cases that some civil wars were caused by economic reasons, like natural resources and human traffic. However, I want to state that grievance from ethnicity could be still major and strong causes of the civil war and that it would be difficult to deal with the disputes if civil war concerning ethnic cleansing occurred, because it would be not easy to stop and the damages in the future would be really significant.



8 thoughts on “Bosnian War: The Most Tragic Civil War Occurred in Europe After WW2

  1. Great post! Indeed, the Bosnian War was tragic as well as an unfortunate occurrence at the end of the 20th century which witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War, and the victory of democracy over communism. In this circumstance, the role of the United Nations is absolutely indefensible. I find this disheartening because I am a strong advocate of the UN and its positive global influence, especially in terms of sustainable development. Furthermore, if this topic interests you, the film “In the Land of Blood and Honey” is an incredible depiction of the Bosnian War, as well as an insightful and artistic interpretation of non-combatant civilian life during the conflict.


  2. Ethnic tensions is a problem countries face; the more diversity there is in ethnic groups the more the possibility there is of potential conflict. The terrible acts that occurred during these difficult rimes is hard to hear. I do not think that civil wars have a quick way of ending and I wish that UN forces could have done more to decrease the violence that was going on.


  3. This post really shed light on the Bosnian war and genocide. It brings to light the problem that countries face when they are dealing with an ethnic crisis. A lot of these civil wars that you hear about have a driving force behind them of being about some sort of an ethnic problem. Civil wars that stem from ethnic problems tend to drag on for a long time without any foreign intervention because they are civil wars and unless there is a direct investment in the country most wont come to help them. This war is a prime example of what happens when there is no intervention.


  4. Thank you for your post. I didn’t know about Bosnian war and genocide before you post this. It is a tragic occurred by Army of Republika Srpska and fortunately it is judged as crime by ICC. However, I am curious what action did ICC hold on it. Did Republika Srpska compensated on what they did?


  5. A truly tragic event that explains the provisions of an ethnic crisis. This is a completely different outlook on civil wars then what I imagined and it truly shows how there are several causes to war. I think some intervention was necessary before it became such a horrid event.


  6. Great post, and I agree with your idea that the grievance from ethnicity is a still major factor leading to the civil war. I think the cause of this massacre essentially originated from the end of the First World War, which delimited the borderline of Yugoslavia. Anyway, in order to settle the civil war, intervention by third parties can be a solution, but about the war concerning ethnic problems, in my opinion, interventions will just complicate the situation because the problems per se couldn’t be measured or judged by others.


  7. I think an interesting question would be a more in depth look at how exactly Tito was able to keep the peace? With that much racial tension it might seem like only a matter of time before the grievances get to a point of civil war. If it was something as simple as charisma then was there not another leader who could step up to prevent any conflict? Was Tito actually able to keep the population happy enough to stop aggression or was his death simply the final opportunity that they needed to declare independence?


  8. Great job on this post. I haven’t really gone into thorough detail on the Bosian War, but you provided a great insight into the conflict. It seems like Josip Broz Tito somehow managed to somewhat contain the disintegration of yugoslavia due to the tensions between the various ethinic groups within the country. Indifferences between various ethnic groups can lead to serious tensions that can lead to catastrophic events such as the ones that were mentioned in your post. So i do agree with the notion that grievances from ethnicity could be play a major role in causing civil wars and conflict.


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