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The Detrimental Effects of the Bosnian Muslim Genocide

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The Detrimental Effects of The Bosnian Muslim Genocide

The return of ethnic cleansing to Europe so shortly after the end of World War II was a shock to everyone. From the years 1991 to 1995, as many as 200,000 people died in the genocides during the breakup of former Yugoslavia. Around 70% of the victims were Muslim, leading to this catastrophic series of events being named “The Bosnian Muslim Genocide”. Debates between various analysts have occurred in determining whether or not it is just to compare this ethnic cleansing to that of the Holocaust; they have come to the conclusion that though they are different, it was evident that large scale genocide was taking place once again in Europe. The genocide of Muslims by Bosnian-born Serbians and Serbian paramilitary units in the early to mid 1990s had detrimental effects on the world, and it still affects our world today.

From the years 1991 to 1995, Yugoslavia went from a very diverse nation living in peace to a corrupt region full of war and genocide. In 1992, “war and genocide spread to Bosnia and Herzegovina” from Croatia (Markusen, 2). The fighting in Sarajevo began on 5 April, 1992, with the systematic removal and genocidal massacres of Bosnian Muslims by Bosnian Serbs from towns and villages in eastern and northern Bosnia began in April of 1992; men between the ages of 20 and 60 were taken from their homes and brutally murdered, while women were “subjected to systematic rape, but not necessarily [murder]” (Markusen, 2). Men and women went from feeling safe in their houses to feeling like they had nowhere to turn, not without being faced with physical and psychological abuse. “By the end of 1992, nearly 2 million Bosnians had been displaced by the war from their homes” (Markusen, 2). “The conflict between the Bosnian government and Bosnian Croats intensified in 1993 as fighting continued” (Markusen, 2). By the end of 1993, Croats had massacred more than 170 Muslims in Ahmici, set up concentration camps where Muslims “were abused and killed”, and destroyed most of the city of Mostar (Markusen, 2). “In February 1994, the world was shocked by a Serb artillery attack on a marketplace in Sarajevo that killed 69 people and injured more than 200...Serb assaults in April on the Bosnian town of Gorazde prompted NATO air strikes, [after which the Serbs] retaliated by taking 150 UN personnel as December, former US President Jimmy Carter arranged a temporary cease-fire that lasted in most places until April 1995” (Markusen, 3). From May to November, 1995, 114 people were killed outside of “the single biggest massacre in Europe since the Holocaust”, around 200 were injured in various attacks, and over 168,000 people were forced to flee from their homes (Markusen, 3). “On July 11, Serb forces overran the safe area of Srebrenica and slaughtered several thousand Muslim men in the single biggest massacre in Europe since the Holocaust” (Markusen, 3). These events sparked many debates between analysts, including whether or not it would be just to compare this genocide to that of the larger scale genocide of the Holocaust. Nonetheless, this genocide had mass reaction from people around the globe.

“The world was shocked at the appearance of such large-scale genocidal persecution in Europe for the first time since World War II” (Markusen, 2). The Bosnian Muslim Genocide began less than 50 years after the end of World War II, with survivors of the Holocaust still being alive, and some living close to the sites of the new concentration camps. “Pictures of gaunt, starved, and beaten prisoners behind barbed wire of concentration camps evoked haunting memories of the victims of Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps” (Markusen, 2). No one was prepared for the return of genocide to Europe; “the modern Western world was humiliated, shocked, and haunted by the return of genocide to Europe” (Markusen, 2). Our Former President Bill Clinton spoke of the atrocities that occurred in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995. “The world did not act early enough to stop [The Bosnian War]...Innocent people [were] herded into concentration camps, children gunned down by snipers on their way to school, soccer fields and parks turned into cemeteries...This was genocide in the heart of Europe, not in 1945, but in our own time, testing our humanity and our resolve...when we and our allies joined with courageous Bosnians to stand up to the aggressors, we helped to end the war” (“Bill Clinton: Address Following Nato Air Strikes on Yugoslavia (1999)”, 2). Because of the events of the Bosnian War, action was taken a lot quicker in the next Yugoslav war, the Kosovo War. After the Bosnian War ended, those affected sought justice and repercussions for those involved with the mass genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity seen during the war.

War crimes are the hardest

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