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Context of 'March 1993: Bosnian Croatians and Muslims, Losing to Serbs, Begin Fighting Each Other as Well'

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The Bosnian Serbs have the upper hand in their war with the Bosnian Muslims and Croats. A UN human rights investigator warns that the Bosnian Muslims are “virtually threatened with extermination” unless they are helped by outside forces. But a UN weapons embargo is still in place. (Risen and McManus 4/5/1996)

The Bosnian Croats and Muslims have been fighting Bosnian Serb forces and are slowly losing. The Serbs control about 70 percent of Bosnia. But despite this, the Croats and Muslims begin fighting each other as well. (Time 12/31/1995)

Bosnian Muslims and Croats have been fighting each other, as well as Bosnian Serbs, for the past year (see March 1993). But at the urging of the US, a peace deal is agreed to and the Muslim federation of Croatia and Bosnia is formed. Croats and Muslims now concentrate on fighting the Serbs in Bosnia. (Time 12/31/1995; Wiebes 2003, pp. 165-166)

Nasir Oric.Nasir Oric. [Source: Reuters / Corbis]Bosnian Serb forces enter Srebrenica, capturing the Dutch peacekeeping forces there. Thousands of Muslim civilians are brutally executed by the Serbs. (Rohde 10/2/1995; Rohde 10/24/1995; Danner 9/24/1998; BBC 6/9/2005) The commander of the Bosnian Muslim forces based in Srebrenica, Nasir Oric, forcibly prevented Muslim civilians from leaving Srebrenica prior to the Serb attack. (Globe and Mail 7/12/1995) However, Oric and his troops quietly withdrew from Srebrenica just two days before the Serbs arrived, leaving the civilians to fend for themselves. There is fighting between Muslim forces who favor the retreat, and those who want to stay and defend the city. (Cowell 7/24/1995) The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) will announce in 2005 that they have been able to identify the remains of 2032 victims of the Serb assault. (International Commission on Missing Persons 6/21/2005)

In the front row from right to left: Slobodan Milosevic, Franjo Tudjman,  and Alija Izetbegovic, sign the Dayton accords. In the back row stands, from right to left, Felipe Gonzalez, Bill Clinton, Jacques Chirac, Helmut Kohl, John Major and Viktor Tchernomyrdine.In the front row from right to left: Slobodan Milosevic, Franjo Tudjman, and Alija Izetbegovic, sign the Dayton accords. In the back row stands, from right to left, Felipe Gonzalez, Bill Clinton, Jacques Chirac, Helmut Kohl, John Major and Viktor Tchernomyrdine. [Source: Reuters] (click image to enlarge)A peace agreement between the Bosnians, Croats, and Serbs fighting in Bosnia is signed in Paris. Known as the Dayton Accords, the agreement was hammered out in Dayton, Ohio, the month before (see November 1-22, 1995). As part of the agreement, thousands of NATO troops begin arriving in Bosnia immediately to help keep the peace. UN peacekeepers turn their job over to NATO forces on December 20. The peace does hold in the Bosnia and Croatia regions, thus ending a war that began in 1992 (see April 6, 1992). It claimed more than 200,000 lives and made six million people homeless. (Time 12/31/1995) Fifty-one percent of Bosnia goes to an alliance of Muslims and Croats and 49 percent goes to a Serbian republic. (Binder 10/20/2003) As part of the deal, all foreign fighters are required to leave Bosnia within 30 days. In practical terms, this means the mujaheddin who have been fighting for the Bosnian Muslims (see January 14, 1996). (Smith 3/11/2000)


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