Overview/Background and Causes of Human Rights Violation:
-Ethnic conflict plagued the nation of former Yugoslavia after WWII. The country, formed after WWI, had six major ethnic groups of people: the Serbs, Coats, Muslims, Slovenes, Macedonians, and the the Montenegrins. Ethnic and religious differences caused tensions to arise between the ethnic groups. After World War II, Yugoslavia became a federation of six republics; each having a mixed population. Josip Tito, who led Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1980, held the country together; united the country. But after Tito's death, the ethnic resentments snowballed into violence and aggression. Serbian leader Slobodan Milsevic asserted Serbian leadership over Yugoslavia. Two republics, Slovenia and Croatia, also declared their independence. In June 1991, the Serbian-led Yugoslav army invaded both of these republics. After months of fighting both republics were able to free themselves from Serbian rule. In February 1992, Bosnia-Herzegovina joined Slovenia and Croatia in declaring independence. Bosnia's ethnically mixed population was made up of 44% Muslims, 31% Serbs, and 17% Croats. While Bosnia's Muslims and Croats supported the independence movement, the Serbians strongly opposed it. Supported by Serbia, the Bosnian Serbs then launched a war in March 1992. During the war, the Serbs' hatred boiled over and used murder and other forms of brutality against Bosnian Muslims living in Serb-held lands. Called ethnic cleansing, this policy was intended to rid Bosnia of its entire Muslim population. By 1995 the Serbians controlled 70 percent of Bosnia. In Decemeber, the leaders of the 3 factions signed a UN and U.S. mediated peace treaty.
-For centuries, the area of the Balkans has endured savage conflicts that usually included massacres of different ethnic groups. Bosnia, a former member of the Yugoslav federation contains a vast array of ethnic groups. The most horrific genocide committed by Bosnian Serbs, was against the ethnic group of Muslims. Several mass graves were found during and after the conflict of Muslims who had been executed. The Muslim women had also been systematically raped by the Serbs.


Actions Taken to Improve Situation:
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While the war in the former Yugoslavia area was raging in the 1990s, the United Nations had already drawn up plans to bring to justice perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other atrocities. This was eventually established as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. In September of 1996, Bosnians elected a three-person presidency, one leader from each ethnic group. These mediating and compromising efforts have helped to stabilize the area of former Yugoslavia; however the nation continues to experience unrest. Many of the atrocities of the war crimes are being blamed on several paramilitary groups run by local warlords that would operate outside of normal chain of the military command.

Current Status:
-Former Yugoslavia emerged as a nation by way of the Paris peace Conference ending WWI; civilians realized a long dream of Serbs to create a country for South Slav peoples. It united a mix of ethnic groups in the Balkan regions under a Serb monarch, and the country remained a monarchy until WWII. The breakup of Yugoslavia occurred in 1919, when clearly the balancing act required to hold the nation together was difficult. During WWII, the Axis powers conquered Yugoslavia and pitted nationality against another nationality.
-Each side of the ethnic groups claim to have been wronged by the other groups. Each has chosen different sides and allies during major times of conflict. Croatia, for example, supported Germany in WWII and was a cause of the elimination of Serbs, Jews, and Muslims. Genocide is the ultimate form of ethnic cleansing. In the Balkans, genocide has unfortunately become the weapon of choice. It should be pointed out that in Bosnia and elsewhere, Croatians, Muslims, and Serbs have had the ability to live together or coexist. However genocide is usually caused by poor political leadership or because an event triggers renewed hostility and aggression.


WHY is this Important:
-This is important because the ethnic cleansing of former Yugoslavia is a reminder that the area is vulnerable to certain events which may turn the ethnic groups of Yugoslavia against one another. Yugoslavia being so ethnically diverse, conflict is sure to arise in the future once more. When this occurs, it is important for humanity to refrain from genocide as the solution; the aftermath of such ethnic cleansing has proved to be non-beneficial for all ethnic groups concerned. Because of the tensions between ethnic groups in the region, the status of the nation of former Yugoslavia has an uncertain future.

Picture/Cartoon:
As the map depicts, it is the area of former nation Yugoslavia. The diverse span of ethnic groups in Yugoslavia ultimately caused large clashes and tensions to arise between each groups. As you can see from the map, the very city of Bosnia was divided ethnically. It seemed that especially in the city of Bosnia, the ability for the ethnic groups to coexist was hard acheived; although in other areas outside of Bosnia and the Balkans, these ethnic groups were able to coexist. Because of the tensions that still are present in the area or province today, the future of this area is still uncertain, as any clash or dispute may result in another devastating case of genocide.
As the map depicts, it is the area of former nation Yugoslavia. The diverse span of ethnic groups in Yugoslavia ultimately caused large clashes and tensions to arise between each groups. As you can see from the map, the very city of Bosnia was divided ethnically. It seemed that especially in the city of Bosnia, the ability for the ethnic groups to coexist was hard acheived; although in other areas outside of Bosnia and the Balkans, these ethnic groups were able to coexist. Because of the tensions that still are present in the area or province today, the future of this area is still uncertain, as any clash or dispute may result in another devastating case of genocide.

Video/Link:

So What?

-Ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, a city in former Yugoslavia, had devastating effects on all the ethnic groups located in the area. It has caused tensions and suspicions to arise within the province today; as the uncertainty of the occurrence of another case of oppression and genocide still looms for the near future. The instability of the region is dangerous, as any conflict in the future between two ethnic groups may snowball into an instance of genocide and the destroying of human's civil rights.

Sources:

1) Becker, D. J. "former Yugoslavia." In Pubantz, Jerry, and John Allphin Moore Jr. Encyclopedia of the United Nations, Second Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008. Modern World History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
ItemID=WE53&iPin=EUNN0146&SingleRecord=True (accessed May 30, 2009).
2) McDougal Littel; World History Patterns of Interaction ; edited by Roger B. Beck and Linda Black, 2003.
3) Combs, Cindy C. and Martin Slann. "genocide in Bosnia." Encyclopedia of Terrorism, Revised Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2007. Modern World History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
ItemID=WE53&iPin=TER0055&SingleRecord=True (accessed May 30, 2009).