The intentional destruction of Bosniak societies perpetrated by Serbs in Bosnia had both instantaneous and long lasting effects on the future of Bosniaks. The Bosnian Ethnic Cleansing was a dreadful time that led to the death of many Bosnian Muslims and Serbians. During this period, about 100,000 people were killed by 1995. About 80 percent of those people were Bosniaks. This genocide is said to be the worst act of genocide since the murder of 6 million European Jews in World War II (“Bosnian Genocide”).
It started in 1980, when the long time leader of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito passed away. The Balkan states wanted to split apart the Yugoslav republics because of their developing fanatical patriotism. Then in 1991, Slovenia, Croatia, and Macedonia all declared their independence from the Yugoslav union. This split caused many problems to arise in Bosnia (“Bosnian Genocide”).
By 1971, a majority of Bosnia’s population were Muslims that were called Bosniaks. A census was taken in 1991, showing us that 44 percent of Bosnia’s population were Bosniaks, 31 percent were Serb, and 17 percent were Croatian. An election was held in the late 1990s to elect the new president of Bosnia. A man named Alija Izetbegovic won. He was a Bosniak, and with him being president many Bosnian Serbs were upset and angered. Because of the Serbs’ frustrations the Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic and his Serbian Democratic Party set up their own “Serbian National Assembly” (“Bosnian Genocide”).
By the April of 1992, the Serbs in Bosnia set out to “ethnically cleanse” the place. They wanted to do this because the Serbs wanted to live in a Serbian dominant state. They did this by methodically doing away with the Bosnian Muslims. Bosniaks were not only attacked by their own people, Bosnian Serbs, but were also targeted by Serbians. Both Bosnian Serbs and Serbians worked together to eliminate all of the Muslims (“Genocide in Bosnia”).
The Serbs had former Yugoslavian military equipment that they used against the Bosniaks. They bombarded Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo and enclosed the place. They then attacked towns in eastern Bosnia that were Bosniak dominated. From there, many Bosniaks were driven to concentration camps. Women and girls were taken and were brutally raped. Men and boys were tortured, starved, and murdered. In this way, the Serbs were “ethnically cleansing” Bosnia to make it a Serb dominated place (“Genocide in Bosnia”).
In 1994, NATO commanded an air attack against the Bosnian Serbs to stop their aggression. The following year negotiations were made in Dayton, Ohio that stopped all conflict happening in Bosnia. The short term effects of the Bosnian Ethnic Cleansing, was the death of so many people, especially of Bosniaks. But it’s hard to really know what the long term effects of this genocide are, as it hasn’t been a long time since this genocide has occurred. It does play a part in all of the anti-Muslim discrimination happening today (“Genocide in Bosnia”).
This image was taken from: srebrenica-genocide.blogspot.com