Home Free Lab ReportsIn recent decades—specifically after the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union—

In recent decades—specifically after the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union—

In recent decades—specifically after the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union—, the vast majority of armed conflicts around the world have been within states as opposed to between states. The collapse of the Soviet Union brought a collapse of the economies of Eastern Europe. The religiously diverse country of Yugoslavia, was one such case, which broke up into the murky borders of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Slovenia—while Serbia and Macedonia all remained part of the Yugoslavia—with different ethnics groups within each losely constructed border targeting and massacring each other in hopes of independence—known as the “Yugoslav War:” a period of ethnic conflicts, wars of independence, and insurgencies between 1991 to 2001.
Before this period of conflicting bouts of nationalism, “Muslims, Serbs, and Croats had lived in peace for most of the five hundred years they cohabited in Bosnia-Herzegovina” (Ramet, 203). During World War II, Yugoslavia (Bosnia was then still part of Yugoslavia) was invaded by Nazi Germany and partitioned; however, a fierce resistance movement by member of the Communist Party, Josip Tito, reunified Yugoslavia—maintaining ties with both the Soviet Union and the US during the Cold War. After Tito’s death in 1980, Yugoslavia fell into political and economic chaos. Serbian Nationalist, Slobodan Milosevic, a former Communist who had turned to nationalism and religious hatred to gain power, became the new leader. Just as what began to happen with the other Yugoslav countries, Bosnia soon began to experience internal religious conflicts as well. With the hatred sown into Bosnia by religious organizations such as that by the Serbian Orthodox Church, by the latter half of the 1980s, “the deterioration of interethnic relations in Bosnia became sufficiently visible to be mentioned in the local press” (Ramet, 203). Around September/October of 1990, Bosnian Serbs began setting up illegal military formation in Bosnia—formations that were both supplied and trained by the Serb-controlled JNA Yugoslav People’s Army. By 1992, all hell broke loose in Bosnia and Herzegovina sparking territorial conflict between the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina chiefly supported by Bosniaks, the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb entity Republika Srpska, and the self-proclaimed Herzeg-Bosnia, who were led and supplied by Serbia and Croatia respectively, reportedly with a goal of the partition of Bosnia. Led by ulta-nationalist Radovan Karadži?, the Bosnian Serb minority, Republika Srpska, declared their independence and seceded—leading to a last minute referendum that would assign the division of Bosnia as eastern Bosnia to Serbia and southwestern Herzegovina to Croatia, leaving the Muslims majority essentially stateless and divided between two Christian states. This was ultimately rejected by all three ethnic groups making up Bosnia and resulted in continuous confrontations between Serbs and non-Serbs in Bosnia that warped into a full pledged genocide against the Muslim Bosniak population by the Republika Srpska.