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Updated: Sept. 19, 2014.

Bosnian Genocide - Bosniak civilians in Serb-run Trnopolje concentration camp in August 1992. Credits: RON HAVIV, Blood & Honey

Bosnian Genocide – Bosniak civilians in Serb-run Trnopolje concentration camp in August 1992. Credits: RON HAVIV, Blood & Honey

“Following the creation of the modern Balkan states (starting with the Serbian uprisings of 1804–1813 and 1815 and the Greek War of Independence of 1821–1829) up to 1920, an estimated 5 to 10 million people, mostly Muslims, were expelled from their home territory, and up to 1.5 million were killed…. Ethnic cleansing as a practice has occurred throughout history in various regional contexts and has assumed many forms, including forced migration, population exchange, deportation, expulsion, and genocide. Following the creation of the modern Balkan states (starting with the Serbian uprisings of 1804–1813 and 1815 and the Greek War of Independence of 1821–1829) up to 1920, an estimated 5 to 10 million people, mostly Muslims, were expelled from their home territory, and up to 1.5 million were killed. During the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, when Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Greece, and Romania fought for the remaining areas of Ottoman control in the southern Balkans, this region saw massive ethnic cleansing operations and unspeakable atrocities in general…. 1992 and 1995, over half the 4.4 million inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina were internally displaced or became refugees in neighboring countries.” (Source: “Confronting the Yugoslav controversies – a scholars’ initiative” 2nd Edition.)

The Bosnian War (1992-1995) was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995. The war involved several sides. 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’. Both para-states enjoyed substantial political and military backing (overall control) from Serbia and Croatia respectively. NATO was  involved in air-strikes against the Serbs.

Serbs committed at least 90 per cent of all war crimes in the Bosnian war, according to extensively documented 1995 report from the Central Intelligence Agency. (note: this report came to light in March of 1995, four months before the Srebrenica genocide)

The International Criminal Tribunal at the Hague proved — at least five times — that the Bosnian war was NOT a ‘civil war’ but an international armed conflict involving Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, and NATO.

Bosnian Genocide was the brutal Serbian campaign of ethnic cleansing — in which 1 million Bosniaks were displaced from their ancestral land, and 65,000 to 75,000 innocent Bosniak civilians and defenders killed (people had to defend themselves, so you can call them soldiers, but they are still innocent victims killed by those who sought racial purity in the name of “Greater Serbia”) during the 1992-95 international conflict that took place on a territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The Bosnian Genocide was characterized by the policy of systematic rapes of Bosniak women and girls, horrific and prolonged siege and shelling of Bosniak cities, starvation and terrorization of Bosniak population in the besieged enclaves and targeted destruction of Bosniak culture and history.

It is clear who the perpetrators and who the victims were. To put things into perspective: During the war, not even one Serb city was under the siege by Bosniak forces; in fact, majority of Serb civilian casualties were killed by the Serbian army commanded by Gen. Ratko Mladic in the process of sniping and shelling multiethnic Bosnian cities like Sarajevo and Tuzla. Serb people and Serb culture were not deliberately targeted for ethnic cleansing, rape, siege, shelling, and destruction in Bosnia; it was the Serb project of “Greater Serbia”, modeled on a Nazi policy of ethnic purification, that inflicted tremendous suffering on the Bosniak people between 1992 and 1995.

Presently, there are four legal judgements in which genocide was proven to have happened in Bosnia, other than Srebrenica.

The four international judgments acknowleding that genocide, indeed did take place in Bosnia, other than Srebrenica, include: Prosecutor v Nikola Jorgic (Doboj region), Prosecutor v Novislav Djajic [Dzajic] (Foča region), Prosecutor v Djuradj Kuslic [Kusljic] (Kotor Varos) and Prosecutor v Maksim Sokolovic (Kalesija, Zvornik region). All three cases were tried in Germany — at the request of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) — to ease caseload of the ongoing trials at the Hague.

The United States court determined that Radovan Karadzic is liable for acts of genocide, rape and torture.

PHOTO CAPTION: (Please be patient. Photo below may take time to load.) The entrance to the Manjaca concentration camp reads in cyrillic letters “CONCENTRATION CAMP – PROHIBITED ENTRY.” Thousands of civilians, mostly Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) were tortured in Serb-run camps like this one. Prior to announced visit of the international media in August of 1992, Serb guards relocated hundreds of emaciated and badly beaten prisoners to other locations. Photo courtesy: The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Currently, former Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic are on trial for the 1992-95 Bosnian Genocide. They are charged with genocide in the following Bosnian districts: Bratunac, Foča, Ključ, Kotor Varoš, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlasenica, Zvornik and Srebrenica.