The Ethnic Cleansing of Bosnia- Herzegovina

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The Ethnic Cleansing Of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the International Community’s Failure to Prevent Genocide

Brendan McElhaney
November 2012
African American Studies 412
War Crimes And Genocide

The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was an intricate and bloody conflict that resulted in the death of as many as 200,000 people.[1] The international response to the war was delayed; the actions of the Serbians against the Bosnians and Muslims were tacitly accepted by the major international players including the United States, Europe, and the United Nations. As U.S. Secretary of State James Baker said regarding the situation in Yugoslavia, “We don’t have a dog in that fight.”[2] This passive view of the situation in the Balkans was also demonstrated by the actions of the European Union, United Nations, and United States early on in the conflict. As the situation in Bosnia deteriorated, the international community took a passive approach to quelling the conflict. This apathy resulted because of involvement in past wars, politics, fear, misinformation, and an overall reluctance to act unilaterally. Only in the face of continued aggression by Serbians did the international community finally intervene and bring an end to one of the worst conflicts since WWII. Yet the ending of this saga actually rewarded Serbian aggression. Through various international mandates, policies, and conventions that were either completely ignored or enforced sporadically, the Balkans suffered through massive population upheaval, untenable refugee sites, the re-emergence of concentration camps on European soil, and systematic mass murder. While the Serbs and Bosnian Serbs committed the atrocities, the international community is equally responsible because it neglected its statutory duty in the face of clear and indisputable evidence of genocide. In…...

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