Ethnic cleansing in the Bosnian War

Ethnic cleansing in the Bosnian War
Part of the Bosnian War
Branjevo Military Farm Grave Exhumation.jpg
Exhumed victims of ethnic cleansing through murder in the Srebrenica massacre
Ethnic makeup of Bosnia and Herzegovina before and after the war.jpg
Ethnic distribution at the municipal level in Bosnia and Herzegovina before (1991) and after the war (1998)
LocationBosnia and Herzegovina
Coordinates43°52′N 18°25′E / 43.867°N 18.417°E / 43.867; 18.417Coordinates: 43°52′N 18°25′E / 43.867°N 18.417°E / 43.867; 18.417
Date1992 – 1995
Attack type
Ethnic cleansing, deportation, concentration camps, torture, genocidal rape, mass murder, genocide
DeathsTens of thousands killed[1]
between 1.0[2] and 1.3 million[3] deported or forcibly resettled
  • 12,000[4] to 20,000[5] women raped

Ethnic cleansing occurred during the Bosnian War (1992–95) as large numbers of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Bosnian Croats were forced to flee their homes or were expelled by the Army of Republika Srpska and Serb paramilitaries.[6][7][8][9] Bosniaks and Bosnian Serbs had also been forced to flee or were expelled by Bosnian Croat forces, though on a restricted scale and in lesser numbers. The UN Security Council Final Report (1994) states while Bosniaks also engaged in "grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of international humanitarian law", they "have not engaged in "systematic ethnic cleansing"".[10] According to the report, "there is no factual basis for arguing that there is a 'moral equivalence' between the warring factions".[10]

Beginning in 1991, political upheavals in Bosnia and Herzegovina displaced about 2.7 million people by mid-1992, of which over 700,000 sought asylum in other European countries,[11][12] making it the largest exodus in Europe since World War II. It is estimated between 1.0 and 1.3 million people were uprooted in these ethnic cleansing campaigns, and that tens of thousands were killed.

The methods used during the Bosnian ethnic cleansing campaigns include "killing of civilians, rape, torture, destruction of civilian, public, and cultural property, looting and pillaging, and the forcible relocation of civilian populations".[13] Most of the perpetrators of these campaigns were Serb forces and most of the victims were Bosniaks. The UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) later convicted several officials for persecution on political, racial and religious grounds; forced transfer and deportation constituting a crime against humanity. The Srebrenica massacre, which was also included as part of the ethnic cleansing campaign, was found to constitute the crime of genocide.

  1. ^ Seybolt 2007, p. 177.
  2. ^ Totten 2017, p. 21.
  3. ^ Phillips 2005, p. 5.
  4. ^ Crowe 2013, p. 343.
  5. ^ Haddad 2011, p. 109.
  6. ^ A. D. Horne (22 August 1992). "Long Ordeal for Displaced Bosnian Muslims". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  7. ^ "War Crimes in Bosnia-Hercegovina: U.N. Cease-Fire Won't Help Banja Luka". Human Rights Watch. June 1994. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  8. ^ "War and humanitarian action: Iraq and the Balkans" (PDF). UNHCR. 2000. p. 218. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  9. ^ Bell-Fialkoff 1993, p. 110.
  10. ^ a b ANNEX IV: Policy of Ethnic Cleansing - Part Two: Ethnic Cleansing in BiH - I: Introduction, 27 May 1994, pp. 36–37
  11. ^ Erlanger, Steven (10 June 1996). "The Dayton Accords: A Status Report". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Wren, Christopher S. (24 November 1995). "Resettling Refugees: U.N. Facing New Burden". The New York Times.
  13. ^ ANNEX IV: Policy of Ethnic Cleansing: Ethnic Cleansing in BiH - I: Introduction, 27 May 1994, p. 33

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