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Ethnic cleansing is the systematic forced removal of ethnic, racial and/or religious groups from a given territory by a more powerful ethnic group, often with the intent of making it ethnically homogeneous. [ page needed ] The forces applied may be various forms of forced migration (deportation, population transfer), intimidation, as well as genocide and genocidal rape.
An ethnic group or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, language, history, society, culture or nation. Ethnicity is usually an inherited status based on the society in which one lives. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, ancestry, origin myth, history, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, art or physical appearance.
Deportation is the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. The term expulsion is often used as a synonym for deportation, though expulsion is more often used in the context of international law, while deportation is more used in national (municipal) law.
Ethnic cleansing is usually accompanied with efforts to remove physical and cultural evidence of the targeted group in the territory through the destruction of homes, social centers, farms, and infrastructure, and by the desecration of monuments, cemeteries, and places of worship.
Initially used by the perpetrators during the Yugoslav Wars and cited in this context as a euphemism akin to that of Nazi Germany's "Final Solution", by the 1990s, the term gained widespread acceptance due to journalism and the media's heightened use of the term in its generic meaning.
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of separate but related ethnic conflicts, wars of independence and insurgencies fought in the former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 2001, which led to the breakup of the Yugoslav state. Its constituent republics declared independence, despite unresolved tensions between ethnic minorities in the new countries, fueling the wars.
The Final Solution or the Final Solution to the Jewish Question was a Nazi plan for the genocide of Jews during World War II. The "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" was the official code name for the murder of all Jews within reach, which was not restricted to the European continent. This policy of deliberate and systematic genocide starting across German-occupied Europe was formulated in procedural and geopolitical terms by Nazi leadership in January 1942 at the Wannsee Conference held near Berlin, and culminated in the Holocaust, which saw the killing of 90% of Polish Jews, and two thirds of the Jewish population of Europe.
An antecedent to the term is the Greek word andrapodismos (Greek : ανδραποδισμός; lit. "enslavement"), which was used in ancient texts to describe atrocities that accompanied Alexander the Great's conquest of Thebes in 335 BC. In the early 1900s, regional variants of the term could be found among the Czechs (očista), the Poles (czystki etniczne), the French (épuration) and the Germans (Säuberung). [ page needed ] A 1913 Carnegie Endowment report condemning the actions of all participants in the Balkan Wars contained various new terms to describe brutalities committed toward ethnic groups.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, and by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders.
Thebes, known to the ancient Egyptians as Waset, was an ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile about 800 kilometers (500 mi) south of the Mediterranean. Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome and was the capital of Egypt mainly during the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom. It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert, with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city of ancient Egypt during its heyday. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and the city proper was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found.
During World War II, the euphemism čišćenje terena ("cleansing the terrain") was used by the Croatian Ustaše to describe military actions in which non-Croats were purposely killed or otherwise uprooted from their homes. 22-kilometre (14 mi) border zone in the Byelorussian and Ukrainian SSRs. This process was repeated on an even larger scale in 1939–41, involving many other groups suspected of disloyalty towards the Soviet Union. During The Holocaust, Nazi Germany pursued a policy of ensuring that Europe was "cleansed of Jews" (Judenrein).Viktor Gutić, a senior Ustaše leader, was one of the first Croatian nationalists on record to use the term as a euphemism for committing atrocities against Serbs. The term was later used in the internal memorandums of Serbian Chetniks in reference to a number of retaliatory massacres they committed against Bosniaks and Croats between 1941 and 1945. The Russian phrase очистка границ (ochistka granits; lit. "cleansing of borders") was used in Soviet documents of the early 1930s to refer to the forced resettlement of Polish people from the
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Viktor Gutić was the Ustaše commissioner for Banja Luka and the Grand Prefect of Pokuplje in the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) during World War II. He was responsible for the persecution of Serbs, Jews and Roma in the Bosanska Krajina region of Bosnia between 1941 and 1945, and reported to the principal commissioner for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jure Francetić.
The Serbs are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group that formed in the Balkans. The majority of Serbs inhabit the nation state of Serbia, as well as the disputed territory of Kosovo, and the neighboring countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro. They form significant minorities in North Macedonia and Slovenia. There is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, and outside Europe there are significant communities in North America and Australia.
In its complete form, the term appeared for the first time in the Romanian language (purificare etnică) in an address by Vice Prime Minister Mihai Antonescu to cabinet members in July 1941. After the beginning of the invasion of the USSR,[ clarification needed ] he concluded: “I do not know when the Romanians will have such chance for ethnic cleansing." In the 1980s, the Soviets used the term "ethnic cleansing" to describe the inter-ethnic violence in Nagorno-Karabakh. At around the same time, the Yugoslav media used it to describe what they alleged was an Albanian nationalist plot to force all Serbs to leave Kosovo. It was widely popularized by the Western media during the Bosnian War (1992–95). The first recorded mention of its use in the Western media can be traced back to an article in The New York Times dated 15 April 1992, in a quote by an anonymous Western diplomat.
Mihai Antonescu was a Romanian politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister during World War II.
Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, is a landlocked region in the South Caucasus, within the mountainous range of Karabakh, lying between Lower Karabakh and Zangezur, and covering the southeastern range of the Lesser Caucasus mountains. The region is mostly mountainous and forested.
Synonyms include ethnic purification.
The Final Report of the Commission of Experts established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 defined ethnic cleansing as "a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas".In its previous, first interim report it noted, "[b]ased on the many reports describing the policy and practices conducted in the former Yugoslavia, [that] 'ethnic cleansing' has been carried out by means of murder, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, extra-judicial executions, rape and sexual assaults, confinement of civilian population in ghetto areas, forcible removal, displacement and deportation of civilian population, deliberate military attacks or threats of attacks on civilians and civilian areas, and wanton destruction of property. Those practices constitute crimes against humanity and can be assimilated to specific war crimes. Furthermore, such acts could also fall within the meaning of the Genocide Convention."
Yugoslavia was a country in Southeastern and Central Europe for most of the 20th century. It came into existence after World War I in 1918 under the name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes by the merger of the provisional State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs with the Kingdom of Serbia, and constituted the first union of the South Slavic people as a sovereign state, following centuries in which the region had been part of the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary. Peter I of Serbia was its first sovereign. The kingdom gained international recognition on 13 July 1922 at the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris. The official name of the state was changed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia on 3 October 1929.
Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian or an identifiable part of a civilian population. The first prosecution for crimes against humanity took place at the Nuremberg trials. Crimes against humanity have since been prosecuted by other international courts as well as in domestic prosecutions. The law of crimes against humanity has primarily developed through the evolution of customary international law. Crimes against humanity are not codified in an international convention, although there is currently an international effort to establish such a treaty, led by the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative.
A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing a perfidy, raping, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and seriously violating the principles of distinction and proportionality, such as strategic bombing of civilian populations.
The official United Nations definition of ethnic cleansing is "rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons of another ethnic or religious group".
As a category, ethnic cleansing encompasses a continuum or spectrum of policies. In the words of Andrew Bell-Fialkoff:
[E]thnic cleansing [...] defies easy definition. At one end it is virtually indistinguishable from forced emigration and population exchange while at the other it merges with deportation and genocide. At the most general level, however, ethnic cleansing can be understood as the expulsion of a population from a given territory.
Terry Martin has defined ethnic cleansing as "the forcible removal of an ethnically defined population from a given territory" and as "occupying the central part of a continuum between genocide on one end and nonviolent pressured ethnic emigration on the other end".
In reviewing the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Bosnian Genocide Case in the judgement of Jorgic v. Germany on July 12, 2007 the European Court of Human Rights quoted from the ICJ ruling on the Bosnian Genocide Case to draw a distinction between ethnic cleansing and genocide:
The term 'ethnic cleansing' has frequently been employed to refer to the events in Bosnia and Herzegovina which are the subject of this case ... [UN] General Assembly resolution 47/121 referred in its Preamble to 'the abhorrent policy of "ethnic cleansing", which is a form of genocide', as being carried on in Bosnia and Herzegovina. ... It [i.e., ethnic cleansing] can only be a form of genocide within the meaning of the [Genocide] Convention, if it corresponds to or falls within one of the categories of acts prohibited by Article II of the Convention. Neither the intent, as a matter of policy, to render an area "ethnically homogeneous", nor the operations that may be carried out to implement such policy, can as such be designated as genocide: the intent that characterizes genocide is "to destroy, in whole or in part" a particular group, and deportation or displacement of the members of a group, even if effected by force, is not necessarily equivalent to destruction of that group, nor is such destruction an automatic consequence of the displacement. This is not to say that acts described as 'ethnic cleansing' may never constitute genocide, if they are such as to be characterized as, for example, 'deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part', contrary to Article II, paragraph (c), of the Convention, provided such action is carried out with the necessary specific intent (dolus specialis), that is to say with a view to the destruction of the group, as distinct from its removal from the region. As the ICTY has observed, while 'there are obvious similarities between a genocidal policy and the policy commonly known as 'ethnic cleansing' (Krstić, IT-98-33-T, Trial Chamber Judgment, 2 August 2001, para. 562), yet '[a] clear distinction must be drawn between physical destruction and mere dissolution of a group. The expulsion of a group or part of a group does not in itself suffice for genocide.'
There is no international treaty that specifies a specific crime of ethnic cleansing.However, ethnic cleansing in the broad sense—the forcible deportation of a population—is defined as a crime against humanity under the statutes of both International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The gross human-rights violations integral to stricter definitions of ethnic cleansing are treated as separate crimes falling under public international law of crimes against humanity and in certain circumstances genocide.
There are however situations, such as the expulsion of Germans after World War II, where ethnic cleansing has taken place without legal redress (see Preussische Treuhand v. Poland). Timothy V. Waters argues therefore that similar ethnic cleansing could go unpunished in the future.
Academic discourse considers both genocide and ethnic cleansing to exist in a spectrum of assaults on nations or religio-ethnic groups. Ethnic cleansing is similar to forced deportation or population transfer whereas genocide is the intentional murder of part or all of a particular ethnic, racial, religious, or national group. While ethnic cleansing and genocide may share the same goal and the acts used to perpetrate both crimes may often resemble each other, ethnic cleansing is intended to displace a persecuted population from a given territory, while genocide is intended to destroy a population.
Some academics consider genocide as a subset of "murderous ethnic cleansing".Thus, these concepts are different, but related, as Norman Naimark writes: "literally and figuratively, ethnic cleansing bleeds into genocide, as mass murder is committed in order to rid the land of a people". William Schabas adds, "Ethnic cleansing is also a warning sign of genocide to come. Genocide is the last resort of the frustrated ethnic cleanser."
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In 1946 Königsberg was renamed Kaliningrad. The survivors of the German population were forcibly expelled and the city was repopulated with Soviet citizens.
In the 1990s Bosnian war, ethnic cleansing was a common phenomenon. It typically entailed intimidation, forced expulsion and/or killing of the undesired ethnic group, as well as the destruction or removal of key physical and cultural elements. These included places of worship, cemeteries, works of art and historic buildings. According to numerous ICTY verdicts, both Serband Croat forces performed ethnic cleansing of their intended territories in order to create ethnically pure states (Republika Srpska and Herzeg-Bosnia). Serb forces were also judged to have committed genocide in Srebrenica and Zepa at the end of the war.
Based on the evidence of numerous attacks by Croat forces against Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks), the ICTY Trial Chamber concluded in the Kordić and Čerkez case that by April 1993, the Croat leadership from Bosnia and Herzegovina had a designated plan to ethnically cleanse Bosniaks from the Lašva Valley in Central Bosnia. Dario Kordić, the local political leader, was found to be the instigator of this plan.
In the same year (1993), ethnic cleansing was also occurring in another country. During the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, the armed Abkhaz separatist insurgency implemented a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the large population of ethnic Georgians.[ citation needed ] This was actually a case of trying to drive out a majority, rather than a minority, since Georgians were the single largest ethnic group in pre-war Abkhazia, with a 45.7% plurality as of 1989. As a result of this deliberate campaign by the Abkhaz separatists, more than 250,000 ethnic Georgians were forced to flee, and approximately 30,000 people were killed during separate incidents involving massacres and expulsions (see Ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia). [ page needed ] [ page needed ] This was recognized as ethnic cleansing by Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe conventions, and was also mentioned in UN General Assembly Resolution GA/10708.
As a tactic, ethnic cleansing has a number of systemic impacts. It enables a force to eliminate civilian support for resistance by eliminating the civilians—recognizing Mao Zedong's dictum that guerrillas among a civilian population are fish in water, it removes the fish by draining the water[ citation needed ]. When enforced as part of a political settlement, as happened with the forced resettlement of ethnic Germans to the new Germany after 1945, it can contribute to long-term stability. [ page needed ] Some individuals of the large German population in Czechoslovakia and prewar Poland had encouraged Nazi jingoism before the Second World War, but this was forcibly resolved. [ page needed ] It thus establishes "facts on the ground"—radical demographic changes which can be very hard to reverse.
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Silent ethnic cleansing is a term coined in the mid-1990s by some observers of the Yugoslav Wars. Apparently concerned with Western media representations of atrocities committed in the conflict—which generally focused on those perpetrated by the Serbs—atrocities committed against Serbs were dubbed "silent" on the grounds that they did not receive adequate coverage.
Some incidents in Northern Ireland and during the Troubles between Protestants and Catholics were considered to be "ethnic cleansing".This included events after the Holy Cross dispute in 2001 when Protestant paramilitaries were accused of carrying out ethnic cleansing of Catholics in north Belfast.
In many cases where accusations of ethnic cleansing have circulated, partisans have fiercely disputed such an interpretation and the details of the events which have been described as ethnic cleansing by academic or legal experts. This often leads to the promotion of vastly different versions of the event in question.
During the beginning of World War I in 1914, following defeats from the Russian army due to a lack of proper leadership and preparation, the Ottoman Empire banished all Armenian soldiers in desperation with the belief that they were the ones to blame for the defeats.What began as a military tactic, eventually lead to a brutal genocide of the ethnic Armenian people living in Turkey beginning with the execution of male Armenians and eventually the forced deportation Armenian women and children. It is estimated around 800,000 to 1 million ethnic Armenians living in Turkey were either executed or forcibly deported during World War 1. The Armenian Genocide has been recognized as a genocide by most scholars and nations due to its deliberate targeting of ethnic Armenians and the brutal fashion in which it was implemented and has been viewed as a form of Ethnic Cleansing due to the Ottoman Empire's desire to rid a specific ethnicity from their territory.
Recognized as one of the most extreme cases of ethnic cleansing, the Holocaust was the Nazi Regime's mass murder of about 6 million Jews during World War II.Accomplished in stages, the Holocaust began with legislation to remove Jews from society before World War II. Concentration and extermination camps were then created to execute the millions of Jews living in Germany either through shootings, gas chambers, or being worked to death. Killing approximately 90 percent of the Jews living in Poland and 87 percent of the Jews living in Germany and Austria, the Nazi Regime's motives, the horrific fashion of execution, and the number of ethnic Jews murdered make the Holocaust one of the clearest and undisputed cases of ethnic cleansing in history.
Following World War II, from 1944 to 1949, approximately 14 million Germans were forcibly removed from Central and Eastern Europe, primarily German citizens who had settled in territories captured by the Nazi Regime during World War II in areas such as Poland, the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia.Although the conflict consisting primarily of forced migration, approximately 2 million Germans were killed during the migration from either starvation, poor weather conditions, or beatings and murder at the hands of troops and mobs consisting of Russians, Poles, Czechs or other locals. The ethnic cleansing of Germans in Eastern an Central Europe can be explained by the hatred and negative sentiment towards Germans following the Nazi Regime's inhumane acts during the course of World War II and also by the desire of European countries to create a more ethnically homogenous nation-state.
During the Bosnian War from 1992-1995, many civilians fell victim to the ethnic cleansing that took part between Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian Croats, and Bosnian Muslims. All three of the ethnic groups sought for ethnically homogenous territories within Bosnia and Herzegovina displacing about 2,700,000 people within the country.The methods used during the Bosnian ethnic cleansing campaigns included "murder, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, extra-judicial executions, rape and sexual assaults, confinement of civilian population in ghetto areas, forcible removal, displacement and deportation of civilian population, deliberate military attacks or threats of attacks on civilians and civilian areas, and wanton destruction of property". Creating the largest flow of internally displaced citizens since World War II, the ethnic cleansing that occurred in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1990s is still apparent in the ethnically homogeneous regions of Bosnian Serbs, Croats, and Muslims that exist in modern day Bosnia with politicians attempting to obstruct the undoing of the ethnic cleansing that took place during the war.
Since 2016, Myanmar's military dominated government has forced the removal of over 620,000 ethnic Rohingya living in the Rakhine state of northwest Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh.The Rohingya are a group of about 1 million muslims living in the Rakhine state who have faced persecution and discrimination from the government of Myanmar and Buddhist nationalists by being restricted access to citizenship and treated as illegal immigrants. The Myanmar government has cracked down on the Rohingya people and forced them migrate to Bangladesh through violent action, with rape, arson and murder being reported. UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has stated in regard to the situation that “The situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” while governments across the world have called on Myanmar's government to take control of the situation and stop the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people.
Gregory Stanton, the founder of Genocide Watch, has criticised the rise of the term and its use for events that he feels should be called "genocide": as "ethnic cleansing" has no legal definition, its media use can detract attention from events that should be prosecuted as genocide.Because of widespread acceptance after media influence, it has become a word used legally, but carries no legal repercussions.
In 1992, the German equivalent of "ethnic cleansing" (German : Ethnische Säuberung) was named German Un-Word of the Year by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache due to its euphemistic, inappropriate nature.
In English, reference is also made to 'ethnic purification'.
Upon examination of reported information, specific studies and investigations, the Commission confirms its earlier view that 'ethnic cleansing' is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas. To a large extent, it is carried out in the name of misguided nationalism, historic grievances and a powerful driving sense of revenge. This purpose appears to be the occupation of territory to the exclusion of the purged group or groups. This policy and the practices of warring factions are described separately in the following paragraphs.Paragraph 130.
The Bosnian War was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995. Following a number of violent incidents in early 1992, the war is commonly viewed as having started on 6 April 1992. The war ended on 14 December 1995. The main belligerents were the forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and those of the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat entities within Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska and Herzeg-Bosnia, which were led and supplied by Serbia and Croatia, respectively.
The term Bosnian genocide refers to either genocide at Srebrenica and Žepa committed by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995 or the wider ethnic cleansing campaign throughout areas controlled by the Army of Republika Srpska that took place during the 1992–1995 Bosnian War.
Republika Srpska was a proto-state in Eastern Europe under the control of the Army of Republika Srpska during the Bosnian War. It claimed to be a sovereign state, though this claim was not recognized by the Bosnian government, the United Nations, or any other recognized state. For the first few months of its existence, it was known as the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Trnopolje camp was an internment camp established by Bosnian Serb military and police authorities in the village of Trnopolje near Prijedor in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the first months of the Bosnian War. Also variously termed a concentration camp, detainment camp, detention camp, prison, and ghetto, Trnopolje held between 4,000 and 7,000 Bosniak and Bosnian Croat inmates at any one time and served as a staging area for mass deportations, mainly of women, children, and elderly men. Between May and November 1992, an estimated 30,000 inmates passed through. Mistreatment was widespread and there were numerous instances of torture, rape, and killing; ninety inmates died.
Bosnia and Herzegovina v Serbia and Montenegro  ICJ 2 is a public international law case decided by the International Court of Justice.
The Germans of Yugoslavia are people of German descent who live in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Slovenia. The Germans of the former Yugoslavia include both Danube Swabians and Austrians. The largest German minority in the former Yugoslavia is found in Serbia.
The Ahmići massacre was the culmination of the Lašva Valley ethnic cleansing committed by the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia's political and military leadership on Bosniak civilians during the Croat-Bosniak War in April 1993. It was the largest massacre committed during the conflict between Bosnian Croats and the Bosniak-dominated Bosnian government.
The White Eagles, also known as the Avengers, were a Serbian paramilitary group associated with the Serbian National Renewal (SNO) and the Serbian Radical Party (SRS). The White Eagles fought in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Yugoslav Wars.
During the Bosnian War, there was an ethnic cleansing campaign committed by the Bosnian Serb political and military leadership, mostly against Bosniak and Croat civilians in the Prijedor region of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 and 1993. The composition of non-Serbs was drastically reduced: out of a population of 50,000 Bosniaks and 6,000 Croats, only some 6,000 Bosniaks and 3,000 Croats remained in the municiplaity by the end of the war. After the Srebrenica massacre, Prijedor is the area with the second highest rate of civilian killings committed during the Bosnian War. According to the Sarajevo-based Research and Documentation Center (IDC), 4,868 people were killed or went missing in the Prijedor municipality during the war. Among them were 3,515 Bosniak civilians, 186 Croat civilians and 78 Serb civilians. As of October 2013, 96 mass graves have been located and around 2,100 victims have been identified, largely by DNA analysis.
Radoslav Brđanin is a Bosnian Serb war criminal. In 2004 he was sentenced to 32 years imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for crimes committed during the Bosnian War. The sentence, which he is serving in Denmark, was reduced by two years on appeal in 2008.
Serbia was involved in the Yugoslav Wars in the period between 1991 and 1999 - the war in Slovenia, the war in Croatia, the war in Bosnia and the war in Kosovo. During this period from 1991 to 1997, Slobodan Milošević was the President of Serbia, Serbia was part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has established that Milošević was in control of Serb forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia during the wars there from 1991 to 1995.
Atrocity crimes refer to the three legally defined international crimes of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. In 2017 the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be deciding upon whether or not to include crimes of aggression within their jurisdiction; effectively adding a fourth atrocity crime. These crimes are defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their 1977 Additional Protocols, and the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The Zaklopača massacre occurred three years before the Srebrenica Genocide, at the time when Serb forces were committing a campaign of ethnic cleansing of the Bosniak civilians in the Srebrenica region. According to Helsinki Watch at least 83 Bosniaks were killed including 11 children and 16 elderly persons. According to the Institute for the Research of Genocide, Canada:
On 16 May 1992, Serb forces approached the village and demanded Bosniak residents to hand over their weapons. Except few hunting rifles, Bosniak residents did not have any combat weapons to defend themselves. When the Serbs learned that the residents were effectively unarmed, they blocked all exists of the village and massacred at least 63 Bosniak men, women and children.
The Bijeljina massacre involved the killing of between 48 and 78 civilians by Serb paramilitary groups in Bijeljina on 1–2 April 1992 during the Bosnian War. The majority of those killed were Bosniaks. Members of other ethnicities were also killed, such as Serbs deemed disloyal by the local authorities. The killing was committed by a local paramilitary group known as Mirko's Chetniks and by the Serb Volunteer Guard, a Serbia-based paramilitary group led by Željko Ražnatović. The SDG were under the command of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), which was controlled by Serbian President Slobodan Milošević.
The Doboj massacre refers to war crimes, including murder, wanton destruction and ethnic cleansing, committed against Bosniaks and Croats in the Doboj area by the Yugoslav People's Army and Serb paramilitary units from April until October 1992 during the Bosnian war. The Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo registered over 2,300 dead or missing people in the area during the war.
Widespread ethnic cleansing accompanied the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–95), as large numbers of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Bosnian Croats were forced to flee their homes and were expelled by Bosnian Serbs; some Bosnian Croats also carried out similar campaign against Bosniaks and Serbs. Also, Bosnian Muslims conducted similar acts against Croats in Central Bosnia and against Serbs in the Operation Sana
The war crimes trial of Slobodan Milošević, the former President of Yugoslavia, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) lasted from February 2002 until his death in March 2006. Milošević faced 66 counts of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes committed during the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The Dubrovnik Republic was a self proclaimed territorial entity during the Croatian War of Independence on 15 October 1991 in Cavtat after it was captured by members of 2nd Corps of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA). Its provisional president was Aleksandar Aco Apolonio. The proclaimed territory roughly corresponded to the pre-1808 Dubrovnik Republic's borders, stretching from Neum to Prevlaka. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) during the trial of Serbian President Slobodan Milošević, identified the Dubrovnik Republic as being part of several regions in Croatia that Milošević sought to be incorporated into a "Serb-dominated state". The ICTY stated that the JNA's campaign in the Dubrovnik region was aimed at securing territory for this entity.
The partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina was discussed and attempted during the 20th century. The issue came to prominence during the Bosnian War, which also involved Bosnia and Herzegovina's largest neighbors, Croatia and Serbia. as of 2019, the country remains one state while internal political divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina based on the 1995 Dayton Agreement remain in place.
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