Bosnian War

Ethnic Conflict

Bosnian War Overview and After

Serbian vs. Ethnic

With different ethnics in the country, tensions started to grow and the Serbian-Bosnians started to 'cleanse' the country of Croatian and Ethnic Bosnians. The conflict had ethnic and religious roots because it targeted people of other ethnics and also Muslims.

Conflicts: Violence

At first, it was just political tension between groups but later turned into full scale violence when the Serbian ethnics bombed Bosnia's capital, Sarajevo.


Although the UN had to intervene, and some troops actually came from Serbia the war never actually left Bosnia. The Serbs took over East Bosnia and the conflict was in the center.

Bosnian Timeline

1941 - Bosnia-Herzegovina annexed by pro-Hitler Croatian puppet state. Thousands of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies are sent to the death camps.

1945 - Bosnia-Herzegovina liberated following campaign by partisans under Tito.

1945-1991- Bosnia is part of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

1991 - Following collapse of communism, nationalists win first multi-party elections and form coalition government despite having conflicting goals: Muslim nationalists want centralised independent Bosnia, Serb nationalists want to stay in Belgrade-dominated rump Yugoslavia, Croats want to join independent Croatian state.

1992 - Croat and Muslim nationalists form tactical alliance and outvote Serbs at independence referendum. Serb nationalists are incensed as constitution stipulates that all major decisions must be reached through consensus.

War breaks out and Serbs quickly assume control of over half the republic. Ethnic cleansing is rampant in the newly proclaimed Serb Republic but also widespread in Muslim and Croat-controlled areas.

The Bosnian Serbs, under Radovan Karadzic, lay siege to Sarajevo. The city is controlled by Muslims but they are unable to break out through lines set up to defend surrounding Serb villages. There is bitter fighting as well as many atrocities.

1993 - As tensions rise, conflict breaks out between Muslims and Croats, culminating in the destruction of much of Mostar, including its Old Bridge. The bridge had graced the city since it was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century and was a symbol of Bosnia's cultural diversity.

UN safe havens for Bosnian Muslim civilians are created, to include Sarajevo, Gorazde and Srebrenica.The conflict is extremely complex. Muslims and Serbs form an alliance against Croats in Herzegovina, rival Muslim forces fight each other in north-west Bosnia, Croats and Serbs fight against Muslims in central Bosnia.

Gobal Matter

On a global scale the conflict reached such a violent state that the UN (United Nations) had to step in at shut down the war and monitor the peace.

Political Boundaries Map

Bosnia-Herzegovina is divided into two sections: Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The two boundaries were formed in 1995 due to internal (ethnic) conflict.

Citation(s): "Bosnia-Herzegovina Profile" accessed 1/29/15 "BOSNIAN GENOCIDE" accessed 1/29/15 "Bosnian Political Boundaries" accessed 1/29/15