Balkan babel and Bosnia


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Balkan babel and Bosnia

  1. 1. Balkan Babel and Bosnia Bosnia and Kosovo in a century of genocide Javed Mohammed Writer-Producer
  2. 2. Objective To share the history, the horror, the lessons of the war for independence, the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Bosnia and Kosovo
  3. 3. What are the Balkans? A mountain range Yugoslavia and neighboring countries Balkan wars 1911-13 A lot of history, culture, beliefs, languages, and ethnicities
  4. 4. Who are Bosnians? Initially Yugoslavians Then Bosnians: Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats Then Muslims, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians
  5. 5. Bosnia: ethnic mix 48 50 45 40 37 35 30 25 20 15 10 14 5 0 Bosniak 1 Serb Croat Other
  6. 6. Balkan Countries
  7. 7. Five Centurie of Turkish Ottoman rule Mid-15th – 1912 Large segments of population in Bosnia, Kosovo, become Muslim Serbia remains Orthodox Croatia remains Catholic Deep mistrust between Serbs and Ottomans. Ottoman rule replaced by Austrian- Hungarian rule in 1878
  8. 8. Assassination of Archduke 1914: Triggers World War 1
  9. 9. Timeline 1918 Bosnia becomes part of the South Slav state of Yugoslavia 1950's becomes Communist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under Tito
  10. 10. Time Line: May, 1980, Tito died and presidency rotated. December 9, 1990 -- Milošević elected president in Serbia's first multi-party election since World War II June 25, 1991 -- Croatia and Slovenia proclaim independence
  11. 11. Rising Nationalism Origins of Serb Nationalism Lie in Kosovo in Late 1980s Albanian Majority Pressures for Greater Political Rights Serbs Respond with Military Force Milosovic uses Kosovo as opportunity, seizes power in Serbia. Uses Nationalism to Mobilize popular support Slobodan Milosovic for his rule and his goals.
  12. 12. Milosovic Extends His Power Exploiting Nationalism, Milosovic Installs “Puppet Leaders” in Vojvodina, Montenegro, Kosovo. Serbia Begins to Redraw Boundaries to Incorporate All Serbs Living in Yugoslavia into Greater Serbia. Direct Challenge to Croatia and Bosnia, Each of Which have Large Serbian Population. Security Dilemma Emerges
  13. 13. Wars in Slovenia and Croatia 1990 Slovenia declared independence 7 days war, no Serbs 1991 Croatia declared independence war Serbs from Croatia joined Milosevic occupied part of the country 1992 UN imposes arms embargo on all members of the former Yugoslav Republic, including least armed Bosnia. UN and EU enforce peace in Croatia
  14. 14. Bosnian-Serb War criminals Led by nationalist Radovan Karadzic Chief of Army Ratko Mladic
  15. 15. War in Bosnia Referendum for independence - 70% voted YES Serbs did not accept results, proclaim new republic separate from Bosnia UN recognized independent Bosnia 1992 – aggression from Serbia + Bosnian Serbs Start of the siege of Sarajevo Ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims starts by Serbs and Croats 200 000 people killed, millions expelled
  16. 16. War in Bosnia Coallition between Muslims and Croats in different cities like Mostar and Sarajevo to fight Serbs. 1993 – Croats turn against Bosnians Now at war with two enemies Their plan – to divide Bosnia between Serbia and Croatia Bosniaks (Muslims) – to disappear
  17. 17. 1992-93 January 1992 -- U.N. forces enter Croatia and fighting subsides. February 29 - March 1, 1992 -- Bosnia's Muslims and Croats vote for independence in referendum boycotted by Serbs. April 6, 1992 -- War breaks out between Bosnian government and local Serbs, who start 1992-1995 siege of capital Sarajevo. January 1993 -- Bosnia peace efforts fail, war breaks out between Muslims and Croats, previously allied against Serbs.
  18. 18. Sarajevo Bosnian Serbs shoot at peaceful demonstrators in Sarajevo. Bosnians Muslims disarmed by UN Bosnian Serb soldiers discharged from the Yugoslav army, but keep all of their weapons. May 1992 The Siege begins
  19. 19. Siege of Sarajevo 1992-96 (3.5 years of siege) Held hostage by Serb snipers and artillery in hills surrounding city Blockade: 400k residents trapped No water, no electricity, no heating, no food airport - UN forces – maintaining the siege humanitarian aid: half to Serbs half to Bosnians Arms embargo hurt only Bosnians 10 000 people killed in Sarajevo, 1000 children
  20. 20. Genocide Acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group
  21. 21. One explanation…. Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. (Friedrich Nietzsche)
  22. 22. Things are Not Always What They Seem. Ethnic Conflict Is Not: “Conflict fuelled by age-old loyalties and cultural differences.” “Ethnic Groups lying in wait for one another nourishing age-old hatreds.” Irrational Violence
  23. 23. Ethnic Conflict Is Conflict Over Who Gets What The State Controls Access to Resources. Group that Controls the State Controls Resources. Politics Revolves Around Competition Between Groups for Control of the State in Order to Gain Resources. When Groups are Defined Along Ethnic Lines, Competition is Between Ethnic Groups.
  24. 24. Real reasons for conflict Nationalism amplified: creates Us vs Them Land-grab Retreat to archaic value systems Tribal-patriarchal Revenge/blood killings Women: property and badge of honor Blurs distinctions: what people share and what divides them
  25. 25. Bosnian-Serb leadership: I do it because I can
  26. 26. UN peacekeepers: only provided humanitarian aid but did nothing to keep peace
  27. 27. P r o p o g a n a d a
  28. 28. People in Sarjaevo became daily targets for snipers
  29. 29. Summer 1992 Reports of "ethnic cleansing," a policy of slaughtering Muslim inhabitants of towns or driving them away, in order to create an ethnically pure region. Reports of concentration camps, mass rapes. The UN disarmed Bosnian enclaves and designated them “safe havens”, including Sarajevo, Žepa, Srebrenica, Goražde, Tuzla and Bihać
  30. 30. Safe Haven?
  31. 31. Not
  32. 32. Men and young boys were detained and faced mass executions
  33. 33. Some Bosnians (Croatas and Muslims) did take up small arms
  34. 34. 8000 people killed in 3 days in Srebrenica
  35. 35. But no one in the UN, Europe, NATO heard their cries
  36. 36. But no one in the UN, Europe, NATO heard their cries
  37. 37. After Dayton, Ohio Peace Conference Siege end, November 1995 Country split in half Rotating presidency 2 government one Serb, one Bosnian alternate Dysfunctional country Bosnian Serb entity still wants to join Serbia Most war criminals NOT arrested
  38. 38. Bosnia-Herzegovina divided after Dayton agreement 1995 November Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska
  39. 39. Kosovo Almost parallel situation to Bosnia happened in Kosovo in 1999. Kosovo with 90% majority Muslim-Albanian population declares independence. Serbs start ethnic cleansing campaign Hundreds of thousands of refugees forced from homes towards Macedonia and Albania NATO started bombing campaign of Serbia War stops and UN takes over Kosovo redeclared its independence in 2008 which Serbia still does not recognize
  40. 40. You are unique I pledge my loyalty to you My thousand year old land From Sava to the sea From Drina to Una You are unique The only homeland I have You are unique Bosnia and Herzegovina May God save you For the generations to come You are the land of my dreams The land of my forefathers You are unique The only homeland I have You are unique Bosnia and Herzegovina Author: Dino Dervishalidovic
  41. 41. “Memorial”
  42. 42. How do we prevent genocide in future?
  43. 43. From Bosnia with Love A Novel and a Five Year Odyssey Buy It! Read It! Tell others about it! See the trailer on Youtube at
  44. 44. Bibliography “Conflict in developing societies, lecture 12 Bosnia Visitors PPT (author unknown) Identity and Conflict in the Balkans, (author unknown) Living through the siege of Sarajevo, Rizvic, Selma Images from