The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines genocide as “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group”. Genocide is exactly what happened in the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina during July 1995. Between 6 and 11 July 1995 more than 25,000 Bosnian Muslims, most of them women, children and elderly people living in and around town of Srebrenica, were forced to leave the town (Cemic 2007). In addition, 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were massacred by the Republika Srpska army in and around Srebrenica (Cemic 2007). The Srebrenica genocide was one of the biggest massacres that Europe has seen since World War II (Simic 2008). The women and children who survived it became witnesses and survivors whose testimonies and courage to find out, face and disseminate the truth gave them hero status in Bosnia and around the world (Simic 2008). Every year on July 11, politicians and key players from the international as well local community come to Potocari to pay tribute to all of the victims identified so far and those still missing (Simic 2008). Each anniversary of the genocide attracts more and more people from around the world who want to come and share their compassion and maybe even 'guilt' for not doing more to prevent this horrible event (Simic 2008). Following Bosnia’s declaration of independence from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) in March 1992, a civil war broke out in progressive stages between the three ethnic communities that had existed in Bosnia for several centuries (Turns 2007). Although initially internal in nature, this conflict was ‘internationalised’ at various points by the intervention of armed forces from both Serbia and Croatia on the sides of their respective co-ethnic forces (Turns 2007). With the internationally recognised government of the new republic in Muslim hands, nationalistic elements in the Serbian component of the population started fighting against the Bosnian Government’s forces (Turns 2007). Although initially the Croats and Muslims combined forces against the Serbs, subsequent fighting also broke out between Croatian and Government forces (largely over the division of the town of Mostar); the Serbs and Croats also fought against each other (Turns 2007). Both of the non-Muslim nationalist leadership groups had similar aims, namely either outright independence for those parts of Bosnia where their ethnic populations primarily resided or, preferably, union with their co-ethnic neighbouring states: the Republics of Serbia and Croatia (Turns 2007). As this would inevitably entail the dismemberment of the Bosnian State, the Muslim Government fought against both groups (Turns 2007). Srebrenica is a small town in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina that lies about 10 miles from the border with Serbia. While essentially ignoring three years of slaughter, the United Nations Security Council did designate Srebrenica a “safe area” in which encircled Muslims (now called Bosniaks) could find sanctuary (Lischer 2012). But a few hundred outgunned UN peacekeepers from the Netherlands provided only a veneer of protection which cracked under pressure from the Bosnian Serbs. (Lischer 2012). The result was the largest mass killing in Europe since the Holocaust (Lischer 2012). In summary, this literature review will investigate what happened during the genocide, short term and long term impacts, the geopolitical transformation and the controversies surrounding the infamous July 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Discussion
The fall of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia (which consisted of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia) was a peaceful nation when formed after the Second World War, and then suddenly everything began to change. In 1991, following the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the former Yugoslavia began to disintegrate (Totten 2006). The country degenerated into...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document