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The Bosnian War Started shortly after March 1, 1992, when the Bosnian government held a referendum for independence. The Bosnian Croats and Bosnian muslims mostly voted in favour. The Bosnian Serbs, largely against independence, boycotted the referendum claiming that it was unconstitutional. Because of the recsent history of Yugoslavia the Serbs did not trust living in an independent Bosnia or Croatia from what happend in the second world war as 35% of Bosnia's population is Serbian. The Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, announced the establishment of a seperate Bosnian Serb state which would include two-thirds of the territory of Bosnia & Hercegovina. After that Serbian gunman began to take control of the areas Karadzic said. By 1993 the fighting had intensifed and the Bosnian Serbs were assisted by the Serbian army. The Croatian army crossed to western Bosnia were a large proportion of Croat population lived. By now all three forces were fighting each other. In april 1992 the siege on the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo began. Serbian snipers and artillery fired into the city, where it was belived to be a muslim rebel stronghold in there.Each side took there own policy of ethnic cleansing and was practiced by each side. Croats, Serbs and muslims were forced from thier villages and homes which were eaither taken over or destroyed, Detention camps were also set up by each side. The Serbs said that more then 3,000 of thier people died in Croat and Muslim camps. The violence that had taken place realesed a big flood of refugees, more then 1.5 million people fled thier homes. In 1994 the Bosnian muslims had now being supplied with weapons from other nations. The Muslims also made an alliance with the Croatians. The Serbs were not deafeted, but captured Srebrenica for the third time in July 1995. On July 12 The Bosnian Muslim army attempted to break through the Serbian resistence which costed a heavy price, that day 7,000 Muslims were killed (The media over publicized this to be a "massacre"). After this happened it provoked foreign countrys to bring the war to an end. Even though the USA spoke of military action they made it clear that they would not send ground troops unless a cease fire agreement was made. American and European defence experts warned against the involvment. Yugoslavia is mountainious and would be perfect for ambushes and guerrila war fare. Even the might of the German army was not able to take over the country during World War II. In January 1993 the Vance-Owen plan was made. It would break up Bosnia Into three different ethnic groups and Sarajevo would be an open city. This plan was rejected by the Serbs as it had nothing to do with thier plans. In february 1994 the Serbs were accused of firing a mortor shell that killed 68 people. The US and NATO gave the Serbs an ultimatum: stop firing at Sarajevo and pull back heavy arms or face air strikes. The fighting had lessoned after the warning. Rebel Muslims started to attack Serb villages again and in retaliation the Serbs started shelling Sarajevo. NATO started to Bomb the Bosnian Serbs from air. while this was happening the Croatians started to clense Serbs that lived in Krajina in 1992. The Serbians had agreed to a truce in October 1995. The three leaders of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia signed an agreement in November to a peace plan that gave 51% of the country to the Muslim-Croats and 49% to the Bosnian Serbs.
By the end of the Bosnian War, 200,000 people were killed. Relations between Croats, Serbs and Muslims have still been remaining tense. The hostillites of each ethnic group that have plagued the region for centuries are far from over.
by ModerenHistory September 11, 2005
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