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Ethnic Cleansing in the Balkans

UN Court confirms life sentence on genocide for the Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic

A UN international tribunal upheld the conviction of the former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic, sentenced to life prison on charges of genocides, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The sentence comes nearly three decades after Europe’s first genocide since WWII, which occurred during the war in the Balkans (1992-1995).

Life in jail to Ratko Mladic

Now comes the eagerly awaited first degree verdict – after a trial that had started on 6 May 2012 , in which over 300 witnesses have been heard and more than 10,000 pieces of evidence have been analysed - against the “butcher of Srebrenica” who led the genocide of 11 July 1995, in which over 8,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered. A verdict, which presents us with the portrait of an executioner.

Srebrenica 20 years on

On 11 July 1995 the Serb-Bosnian troops led by general Ratko Mladic entered Srebrenica, killing 8372 Muslim men and boys. Twenty years later, the massacre still divided the countries in the region.

​“The Righteous are our role models”

The Director of Gariwo Sarajevo Svetlana Broz tells about the celebrations of European Day of the Righteous in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Here, a big annual ceremony is planned for bestowment of Dusko Kondor Award on people who stood out for or affirmed civil courage in the former Yugoslavia. 

Srebrenica, Dutchbat becomes a Memorial

The Netherlands will turn into a museum the factory that from 1993 to 1995 hosted the Dutchbat, the batallion of Dutch blue helmets which ought to have protected the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. For the first time the testimonies of the Dutch soldiers will be gathered by an institution, but survivors fear the project can lead to a rehabilitation of their role during the war in Bosnia. 

Reconciliation in the children's eyes

The Website of the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia hosts the drawings of kids about justice and the restoration of civil coexistence. 

Ethnic cleansing

in the former Yugoslavia

The federal Yugoslavia was formed by six republics (Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia) and two autonomous regions united to Serbia (Kosovo and Vojvodina). As Tito died in 1980, there was a breakout of political tensions which resulted in the civil war between the different republics that formed the federal State.
From 1990 to 1999, with a precedent in 1989, when Serbia opposed Kosovo independence, the clashing forces used repeatedly ethnic cleansing in order to prevail. The data on the breadth of the mass murder are still provisional: the continuous discovery of mass graves makes it difficult to estimate it. Certain massacres, like the Srebrenica Massacre in 1995 in which the Serbs killed nearly 8000 Bosniak men and assaulted the remaining women, are historically infamous and provoked an international response.. The genocides were far from one sided, as most sides in the conflict attempted to eradicate the other through ethnic cleansing. These brutal attempts of homogenizing the country were inspired by extreme nationalism. The destabilization in the face of Tito's death provoked each ethnicity to vie for total control of the territory and ethnic purity.  The ensuing Yugoslav Wars where characterized by this type of violent ethnic conflict and consequently this series of conflicts is known as the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War 2. By 1995, nearly 100,000 people had been killed during this genocide.

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Welcome to Sarajevo

Winterbottom's film about the siege of Sarajevo during the Bosniac War

Featured story

Dusko Kondor

murdered for testifying about Serb crimes