Break up of Yugoslavia 1991-1995
How it began. • Yugoslavia was once a regional industrial power and economic success. During the 60’s to the 1980’s, annual GDP growth averaged 6.1 %, medical care was free, literacy was 91%, and life expectancy was 72 years. However after a decade of Western economic ministrations and five years of disintegration, war, boycott, and embargo, the economy of Yugoslavia collapsed.
US Involvement. • The Reagan administration specifically targeted the Yugoslav economy in a Secret Sensitive 1984 National Security Decision Directive. • "U.S. Policy towards Yugoslavia." A censored version declassified in 1990 elaborated on NSDD 54 on Eastern Europe, issued in 1982. • It advocated "expanded efforts to promote a 'quiet revolution' to overthrow Communist governments and parties," while reintegrating the countries of Eastern Europe into a market-oriented economy.
Slovenia and Croatia. • At the Yugoslav conference in late 1989 talks broke down. The leaders could not come to an agreement on how to deal with the rotating presidency. Moreover many members were no longer willing to rescue what they saw as a sunken ship. Croatia and Slovenia declared independence and the Ten-Day War soon broke out in Slovenia in 1991. After a week, the Slovenes were victorious and the breakup of Yugoslavia had begun.
Bosnia. • By 1992 a further conflict had broken out in Bosnia, which had also declared independence. The Serbs who lived there were determined to remain within Yugoslavia and to help build a greater Serbia. • They received strong backing from extremist groups in Belgrade. Bosniaks were driven from their homes in carefully planned operations that become known as "ethnic cleansing".
Bosnia. • By 1993 the Bosnian Muslim government was besieged in the capital Sarajevo, surrounded by Bosnian Serb forces who controlled around 70% of Bosnia. • In Central Bosnia, the mainly Bosniak army was fighting a separate war against Bosnian Croats who wished to be part of a greater Croatia. The presence of UN peacekeepers to contain the situation proved ineffective.
Croatian – Bosnian Alliance. • The Serbs, although initially superior due to the vast amount of weapons and resources provided by the JNA eventually lost momentum as Bosniaks and Croats allied themselves against Republika Srpska in 1994 with the creation of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina following the Washington agreement.
Arms Embargo • On September 25, 1991 the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 713 imposing an arms embargo on all of former Yugoslavia. The embargo hurt the Army of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina the most because Serbia inherited the lion's share of the former JNA arsenal and the Croatian army could smuggle weapons through its coast. • The US congress passed two resolutions calling for the embargo to be lifted but both were vetoed by President Bill Clinton. The US however carried out several “Black Operations” [Black Ops] through back- channles that was unknown to the President which saw the U.S work with Iran and other Islamic states to smuggle weapons into Bosnia.
Srebrenica massacre 1994 • The Srebrenica massacre was a major turning point in the war. The genocide saw over 8000 people killed in less then a week. Srebrenica was a “UN Safe-Zone”. • After Srebrenica the joint Croat-Bosnia forces hit back under “Operation Storm”. Gaining the initiative in the war, taking much of western Bosnia from the VRS in several operations, including: Operation Mistral and Operation Sana. These forces now came to threaten the Bosnian Serb capital Banja Luka with direct ground attacks. • The Serbian forces realised they could no longer fight the combined powers of Bosnia and Croatia and began to retreat. In their retreat they committed several massacres including Tuzla, Srebrenica and Markale.
The end of the war. • With heavy military pressure on Banja-Luka from Bosniak and Croat forces, the Serbian forces were finally prepared to negotiate with Bosnia, which resulted in the Dayton agreement of 1995, described as “pausing the war”. This phrase reflected the way in which the borders were drawn up. The military that controlled the region at the end of the war were allowed to maintain power over it.
War Crimes. • A 1995 report by the Central Intelligence Agency found Serbian forces responsible for 90 per cent of the war crimes committed during the conflict. • On June 21, 2007, the Research and Documentation Centre in Sarajevo published the most extensive research on Bosnia-Herzegovina's war casualties titled: The Bosnian Book of the Dead - a database that reveals "a minimum of" 97,207 names of Bosnia and Herzegovina's citizens killed and missing during the 1992-1995 war. An international team of experts evaluated the findings before they were released. More than 240,000 pieces of data have been collected, processed, checked, compared and evaluated by an international team of experts to produce the final number of over 97,000 victim's names—victims of all nationalities. • 83% of all Bosniak casualties were civilians, the rest being military.