November 23, 1997 in Nation/World

Some Background About The Conflict In Bosnia

Los Angeles Times

The war in Bosnia began in April 1992, when Bosnian Serbs, backed by the Yugoslav army, rebelled against Bosnia’s Muslim-led push for independence from a crumbling Yugoslavia.

In what became Europe’s bloodiest conflict since World War II, an estimated 250,000 people were killed or are missing, and as many as 2 million people were displaced.

Atrocities were committed on all sides, but Muslims suffered the greatest losses.

On Nov. 21, 1995, after arduous negotiations steered by the United States, Muslim, Serbian and Croatian leaders meeting in Dayton, Ohio, initialed peace accords that ended the war formally on Dec. 14.

The so-called Dayton agreement ushered in more than 60,000 NATO-led peacekeeping troops embarking on the Atlantic alliance’s most ambitious mission ever.

Warring armies returned to their barracks, but other elements of the Dayton accords have yet to be fulfilled: Most alleged war criminals indicted by an international tribunal remain at large; 400,000 Bosnian refugees have gone home, but very few have been able to return to towns where they are now in the minority; joint governing institutions designed to weave the country back together are not functioning; essential police reform is far behind schedule.

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