Yugoslav Wars

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This article is about the military conflicts related to the dissolution of Yugoslavia. For an account of the events entailing the destruction of the Yugoslav state, see Breakup of Yugoslavia.
Yugoslav Wars
Collage Yugoslav wars.jpg
Clockwise from the top-left: Slovenian police escort captured JNA soldiers back to their unit during the 1991 Slovenian war of independence; A destroyed tank during the Battle of Vukovar; Anti-tank missile installations in the siege of Dubrovnik; Reburial of victims from the 1995 Srebrenica massacre on 11 July 2010; UN vehicle driving on the streets of Sarajevo during the siege.
Date 31 March 1991 – 21 June 1999
(8 years, 2 months and 3 weeks)
Location Yugoslavia
Result New countries independent; change in the political status of Kosovo
Total deaths: ≈140,000+
Displaced: ≈4,000,000[1]

The Yugoslav Wars were ethnic conflicts fought from 1991 to 2001 on the territory of former Yugoslavia. The wars accompanied the breakup of the country, when its constituent republics declared independence, but the issues of ethnic minorities in the new countries (chiefly Serbs in central parts and Albanians in the southeast) were still unresolved at the time the republics were recognized internationally. The wars are generally considered to be a series of separate but related military conflicts which, occurred in, and affected most of the former Yugoslav republics:[2][3][4]

The wars mostly resulted in peace accords, involving full international recognition of new states, but with massive economic damage to the region.

Initially the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) sought to preserve the unity of the whole of Yugoslavia by crushing the secessionist governments; however the JNA increasingly came under the influence of the Serbian government of Slobodan Milošević that evoked Serbian nationalist rhetoric and was willing to support the Yugoslav state insofar as using it to preserve the unity of Serbs in one state; as a result the JNA began to lose Slovenes, Croats, Kosovar Albanians, Bosniaks, and ethnic Macedonians, and effectively became a Serb army.[5] According to the 1994 United Nations report, the Serb side did not aim to restore Yugoslavia, but to create a "Greater Serbia" from parts of Croatia and Bosnia.[6]

Often described as Europe's deadliest conflict since World War II, the conflicts have become infamous for the war crimes involved, including ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and rape. These were the first conflicts since World War II to be formally judged genocidal in character and many key individual participants were subsequently charged with war crimes.[7] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established by the UN to prosecute these crimes.[8]

According to the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Yugoslav Wars resulted in the deaths of 140,000 people.[9] The Humanitarian Law Center writes that in the conflicts in former Yugoslav republics at least 130,000 people lost their lives.[10]


The war(s) have alternatively been called:

  • "War in the Balkans" (though the war affected only the Western Balkans and areas often seen as belonging to Central Europe, e.g., most of Slovenia).
  • "Wars/conflicts in the former Yugoslavia".[9][11]
  • "Wars of Yugoslav Secession/Succession".
  • "Third Balkan War": a term suggested by British journalist Misha Glenny in the title of his book, alluding to the two previous Balkan Wars fought 1912–13.[12] In fact, this term has been applied by some contemporary historians to World War I, seeing it as a direct sequel of the 1912–13 Balkan wars.[13]
  • "Yugoslavia Civil War"/"Yugoslav Civil War"/"Yugoslavian Civil War"/"Civil War in Yugoslavia".[14][15]


Map of the six Yugoslav republics and autonomous provinces of the time.[16]

The nation of Yugoslavia was created in the aftermath of World War I, and was composed mostly of South Slavic Christians, but the nation also had a substantial Muslim minority. This nation lasted from 1918 to 1941, when it was invaded by Axis powers during World War II. In 1943, a new government called the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) was established under Josip Broz Tito, who maintained a strongly authoritarian leadership that was non-aligned with either the United States or the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

In the 1980s, relations among the six republics of the SFRY deteriorated. Slovenia and Croatia desired greater autonomy within the Yugoslav confederation, while Serbia sought to strengthen federal authority. As it became clearer that there was no solution agreeable to all parties, Slovenia and Croatia moved toward secession.

Although tensions in Yugoslavia had been mounting since the early 1980s, it was 1990 that proved decisive. In the midst of economic hardship, Yugoslavia was facing rising nationalism amongst its various ethnic groups.

By the early 1990s, there was no effective authority at the federal level. The Federal Presidency consisted of the representatives of the six republics, two provinces, and the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA). The communist leadership was divided along national lines.

The representatives of Vojvodina, Kosovo and Montenegro were replaced with people loyal to Slobodan Milošević, who was at that time President of Serbia, by 1990. This way, Serbia secured four out of eight federal presidency votes[17] and was able to heavily influence decision-making at the federal level, since all the other Yugoslav republics only had one vote. While Slovenia and Croatia wanted to allow a multi-party system, Serbia, led by Milošević, demanded an even more centralized federation and Serbia's dominant role in it.[18] At the 14th Extraordinary Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia in January 1990, the Serbian-dominated assembly agreed to abolish the single-party system; however, Slobodan Milošević, the head of the Serbian Party branch (League of Communists of Serbia) used his influence to block and vote-down all other proposals from the Croatian and Slovene party delegates. This prompted the Croatian and Slovene delegations to walk out and thus the break-up of the party,[19] a symbolic event representing the end of "brotherhood and unity".

Upon Croatia and Slovenia declaring independence in 1991, the Yugoslav federal government attempted to forcibly halt the impending breakup of the country, with Yugoslav Prime Minister Ante Marković declaring the secessions of Slovenia and Croatia to be illegal and contrary to the constitution of Yugoslavia, and declared support for the Yugoslav People's Army to secure the integral unity of Yugoslavia.[20]

The wars[edit]

Ten-Day War (1991)[edit]

Main article: Ten-Day War

The first of these conflicts, known as the Ten-Day War, was initiated by the JNA on 26 June 1991 after the secession of Slovenia from the federation on 25 June 1991.[21][22]

Initially, the federal government ordered the Yugoslav People's Army to secure border crossings in Slovenia. Slovenian police and Slovenian Territorial Defence blockaded barracks and roads, leading to stand-offs and limited skirmishes around the republic. After several dozen casualties, the limited conflict was stopped through negotiation at Brioni on 7 July 1991, when Slovenia and Croatia agreed to a three-month moratorium on secession. The Federal army completely withdrew from Slovenia by 26 October 1991.

Croatian War of Independence (1991–95)[edit]

Damage after the Dubrovnik bombing
Destroyed Serbian house in Croatia. Most Serbians fled during Operation Storm in 1995.

Fighting in this region had begun weeks prior to the Ten-Day War in Slovenia. The Croatian War of Independence began when Serbs in Croatia, who were opposed to Croatian independence, announced their secession from Croatia. When Franjo Tuđman, the first President of Croatia, came to power, he openly promoted a policy of Croatian sovereignty and a Yugoslav confederation. Ethnic tensions rose, fueled by increasing use of war-mongering propaganda in Serbia and Croatia. As the new Croatian authorities started to modify the Constitution of Croatia, Serbian politicians escalated their boycott into an insurrection called the Log Revolution. The armed incidents of early 1991 escalated into an all-out war over the summer, with fronts formed around the areas of the breakaway SAO Krajina.

The JNA had disarmed the Territorial Units of Slovenia and Croatia prior to the declaration of independence.[23] This was aggravated further by an arms embargo, imposed by the UN on Yugoslavia.

The JNA was ostensibly ideologically unitarian, but its officer corps was predominantly staffed by Serbs or Montenegrins (70 percent).[24] As a result the JNA opposed Croatian independence and sided with the Croatian Serb rebels. The Croatian Serb rebels were unaffected by the embargo as they had the support of and access to supplies of the JNA. By mid-July 1991, the JNA moved an estimated 70,000 troops to Croatia. The fighting rapidly escalated, eventually spanning hundreds of square kilometres from western Slavonia through Banija to Dalmatia.[25]

In May 2013, the ICTY found that Croatian leader Franjo Tuđman took part in the war crimes against the non-Croat population.[26]

The border regions faced direct attacks from forces within Serbia and Montenegro, and saw the shelling of UNESCO world heritage site Dubrovnik, where the international press was criticised for focusing on the city's architectural heritage, instead of reporting the destruction of Vukovar, a pivotal battle involving many civilian deaths.[27]

Meanwhile, control over central Croatia was seized by Croatian Serb forces in conjunction with the JNA Corps from Bosnia and Herzegovina, under the leadership of Ratko Mladić.[28]

These attacks were marked by the killings of captured soldiers and heavy civilian casualties (Ovčara; Škabrnja), and were the subject of war crimes indictments by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for elements of the Serb political and military leadership.

In January 1992, the Vance plan proclaimed UN controlled (UNPA) zones for Serbs in territory claimed by Serbian rebels as the Republic of Serbian Krajina and brought an end to major military operations, though sporadic artillery attacks on Croatian cities and occasional intrusions of Croatian forces into UNPA zones continued until 1995.

The fighting in Croatia ended in mid-1995, after Operation Flash and Operation Storm. At the end of these operations, Croatia had managed to reclaim all of its territory except the UNPA Sector East bordering Serbia, however most of the Serbian population in these areas had become refugees, and these operations led to war crimes trials by the ICTY against elements of the Croatian military leadership. The areas of "Sector East", unaffected by the Croatian military operations, came under UN administration (UNTAES), and were reintegrated to Croatia in 1998 under the terms of the Erdut Agreement.

Bosnian War (1992–95)[edit]

Main article: Bosnian War
A Serb woman mourns at a grave at the Lion's cemetery in Sarajevo, 1992
Radovan Karadžić (left), former president of Republika Srpska, and Ratko Mladić (right), former Chief of Staff of the Army of the Republika Srpska; both charged with war crimes, including genocide, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
People waiting in line to gather water during the Siege of Sarajevo, 1992

In 1992, conflict engulfed Bosnia and Herzegovina. The war was predominantly a territorial conflict between the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina chiefly supported by Bosniaks, and the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb and Croat entities within Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska and Herzeg-Bosnia, who were led and supplied by Serbia and Croatia respectively, reportedly with a goal of the partition of Bosnia.

The Yugoslav armed forces had disintegrated into a largely Serb-dominated military force. Opposed to the Bosnian-majority led government's agenda for independence, and along with other armed nationalist Serb militant forces, the JNA attempted to prevent Bosnian citizens from voting in the 1992 referendum on independence.[29] This did not succeed in persuading people not to vote and instead the intimidating atmosphere combined with a Serb boycott of the vote resulted in a resounding 99% vote in support for independence.[29]

On 19 June 1992, the war in Bosnia broke out, though the Siege of Sarajevo had already begun in April after Bosnia and Herzegovina had declared independence. The conflict, typified by the years-long Sarajevo siege and Srebrenica, was by far the bloodiest and most widely covered of the Yugoslav wars. Bosnia's Serb faction led by ultra-nationalist Radovan Karadžić promised independence for all Serb areas of Bosnia from the majority-Bosniak government of Bosnia.

To link the disjointed parts of territories populated by Serbs and areas claimed by Serbs, Karadzic pursued an agenda of systematic ethnic cleansing primarily against Bosnians through massacre and forced removal of Bosniak populations.[30]

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the United States reported in April 1995 that 90 percent of all the atrocities in the Yugoslav wars up to that point had been committed by Serb militants.[31] Most of these atrocities occurred in Bosnia.

In 1994 the US brokered peace between Croatian forces and the Bosnian Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the successful Flash and Storm operations, the Croatian Army and the combined Bosnian and Croat forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, conducted an operation codenamed Operation Maestral to push back Bosnian Serb military gains.

Together with NATO air strikes on the Bosnian Serbs, the successes on the ground put pressure on the Serbs to come to the negotiating table.

Pressure was put on all sides to stick to the cease-fire and negotiate an end to the war in Bosnia.

The war ended with the signing of the Dayton Agreement on 14 December 1995, with the formation of Republika Srpska as an entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina being the resolution for Bosnian Serb demands.

Kosovo War (1998–99)[edit]

Main article: Kosovo War
A Tomahawk cruise missile launches from the aft missile deck of the USS Gonzalez on March 31, 1999
Post-strike bomb damage assessment photograph of the Kragujevac Armor and Motor Vehicle Plant Crvena Zastava, Serbia
Smoke in Novi Sad, Serbia after NATO bombardment in 1999

After its autonomy was quashed, Kosovo was faced with state organized oppression: since the early 1990s, Albanian language radio and television were restricted and newspapers shut down, whereas Kosovar Albanians were fired in large numbers from public enterprises and institutions, including banks, hospitals, the post office and schools.[32] In June 1991 the University of Priština assembly and several faculty councils were dissolved and replaced by Serbs, and Kosovar Albanian teachers were prevented from entering school premises for the new school year beginning in September 1991, forcing students to study at home.[32]

With time, Kosovar Albanians started an insurgency against Belgrade when the Kosovo Liberation Army was founded in 1996. Armed clashes between two sides broke out in early 1998. A NATO-facilitated ceasefire was signed on 15 October, but both sides broke it two months later and fighting resumed. When the killing of 45 Kosovar Albanians in the Račak massacre was reported in January 1999, NATO decided that the conflict could only be settled by introducing a military peacekeeping force to forcibly restrain the two sides. After the Rambouillet Accords broke down on 23 March with Yugoslav rejection of an external peacekeeping force, NATO prepared to install the peacekeepers by force. The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia followed, an intervention against Serbian forces with a mainly bombing but partly ground-based campaign, under the command of General Wesley Clark. Hostilities ended 2½ months later with the Kumanovo Agreement. Kosovo was placed under the governmental control of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo and the military protection of Kosovo Force (KFOR). The 15-month war had left thousands of civilians killed on both sides and over a million displaced.[33]

Insurgency in the Preševo Valley (1999–2001)[edit]

The Insurgency in the Preševo Valley was an armed conflict between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the ethnic-Albanian insurgents[34][35][36] of the Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac (UÇPMB).[37] There were instances during the conflict in which the Yugoslav government requested KFOR support in suppressing UÇPMB attacks since they could only use lightly armed military forces as part of the Kumanovo Treaty that ended the Kosovo War, which created a buffer zone so that the bulk of Yugoslav armed forces could not enter.[38]

The Yugoslav president, Vojislav Koštunica, often warned that fresh fighting would erupt if KFOR units did not act to prevent the attacks coming from the UÇPMB.[39]

Insurgency in the Republic of Macedonia (2001)[edit]

The insurgency in the Republic of Macedonia was an armed conflict in Tetovo which began when the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army (NLA) militant group began attacking the security forces of the Republic of Macedonia at the beginning of February 2001, and ended with the Ohrid Agreement. The goal of the NLA was to give greater rights and autonomy to the country's Albanian minority, who make up 25.2% (54.7% of the population in Tetovo) of the population of Macedonia.[40][41][42] There were also claims that the group ultimately wished to see Albanian-majority areas secede from the country,[43] though high-ranking NLA members have denied this.[40] The conflict lasted throughout most of the year, although overall casualties remained limited to several dozen for either side, according to the sources from both of the sides in the conflict.

Arms embargo[edit]

The United Nations Security Council had imposed an arms embargo. Nevertheless, various states had been engaged in, or facilitated, arms sales to the warring factions: Bulgaria, North Korea, Poland, Ukraine, Romania and Russia were all export countries for weapons to the conflict; the headquarters for a huge logistics operation was in Vienna; financial transactions were executed by a Hungarian bank; arms smugglers used companies registered in the off-shore haven of Panama; and the United Kingdom sent military equipment and provided loans for arms purchases, as did Germany.[44] In 2012, Chile convicted nine people, including two retired generals, for their part in arms sales.[45]

War crimes[edit]

Detainees at the Trnopolje Camp, near Prijedor. (Photograph provided courtesy of the ICTY)

War rape[edit]

War rape occurred as a matter of official orders as part of ethnic cleansing, to displace the targeted ethnic group.[46]

During the Bosnian War, so-called "rape camps", aimed at the birth of a new generation of Serb children, were reportedly used. The purpose of these camps was to impregnate the Bosnian and Croatian women. Because of the patrilineal make-up of their society, in which children inherit their father's ethnicity, this was used as a method of ethnic cleansing. In the camps, women were kept in confinement until the late stages of their pregnancies.

According to the Tresnjevka Women's Group, more than 35,000 women and children were held in such Serb-run "rape camps".[47][48][49] Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovač, and Zoran Vuković were convicted of crimes against humanity for rape, torture, and enslavement committed during the Foča massacres.[50]

The evidence of the magnitude of rape in Bosnia and Herzegovina prompted the ICTY to deal openly with these abuses.[51] Reports of sexual violence during the Bosnian War (1992–1995) and Kosovo War (1998–1999) perpetrated by the Serbian regular and irregular forces have been described as "especially alarming".[47] The NATO-led Kosovo Force documented rapes of Albanian, Roma and Serbian women by both Serbs and members of the Kosovo Liberation Army.[52]

Others have estimated that during the Bosnian War between 20,000 and 50,000 women, mainly Muslim, were raped.[53][54] A Commission of Experts appointed in October 1992 by the United Nations concluded that:

Rape has been reported to have been committed by all sides to the conflict. However, the largest number of reported victims have been Bosnian Muslims, and the largest number of alleged perpetrators have been Bosnian Serbs. There are few reports of rape and sexual assault between members of the same ethnic group.[55]

War rape in the Yugoslav Wars has often been characterized as genocide. Rape perpetrated by Serb forces served to destroy cultural and social ties of the victims and their communities.[56] Serbian policies urged soldiers to rape Bosnian women until they became pregnant as an attempt towards ethnic cleansing. Serbian soldiers hoped to force Bosnian women to carry Serbian children through repeated rape.[57] Often Bosnian women were held in captivity for an extended period of time and only released slightly before the birth of a child conceived of rape.

The systematic rape of Bosnian women may have carried further-reaching repercussions than the initial displacement of rape victims. Stress, caused by the trauma of rape, coupled with the lack of access to reproductive health care often experienced by displaced peoples, lead to serious health risks for victimized women.[58]

During the Kosovo War thousands of Kosovo Albanian women and girls became victims of sexual violence. War rape was used as a weapon of war and an instrument of systematic ethnic cleansing; rape was used to terrorize the civilian population, extort money from families, and force people to flee their homes. According to a report by the Human Rights Watch group in 2000, rape in the Kosovo War can generally be subdivided into three categories: rapes in woman's homes, rapes during fighting, and rapes in detention.[59][60] The majority of the perpetrators were Serbian paramilitaries, but they also included Serbian special police or Yugoslav army soldiers.[59][60] Virtually all of the sexual assaults Human Rights Watch documented were gang rapes involving at least two perpetrators.[59][60] Since the end of the war, rapes of Serbian, Albanian, and Roma women by ethnic Albanians—sometimes by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) – have also been documented.[59][60] Rapes occurred frequently in the presence, and with the acquiescence, of military officers. Soldiers, police, and paramilitaries often raped their victims in the full view of numerous witnesses.[46]


The War Crimes Tribunal accused Slobodan Milošević of "attempting to create a Greater Serbia"', a Serbian state encompassing the Serb-populated areas of Croatia and Bosnia, and achieved by forcibly removing non-Serbs from large geographical areas through the commission of the crimes.[61]

One of the common misconceptions about the Yugoslav Wars is that they were the result of centuries of ethnic conflict. In fact, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the ethnically mixed region of Dalmatia held close and amicable relations between the Croats and Serbs who lived there, and many early proponents of a united Yugoslavia came from this region, such as Dalmatian Croat Ante Trumbić. However, by the time of the outbreak of the Yugoslav Wars, the historical hospitable relations between Croats and Serbs in Dalmatia had broken down, with Dalmatian Serbs fighting on the side of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Clear ethnic conflict between the Yugoslav peoples only became prominent in the 20th century, beginning with tensions over the constitution of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in the early 1920s and escalating into violence between Serbs and Croats in the late 1920s after the assassination of the most popular Croatian politician at the time Stjepan Radić. Severe ethnic conflict occurred during World War II during which the Croatian Ustase movement committed genocide against Serbs, while the Serbian Chetnik movement responded with reprisals against Croats as well as murdering Bosniaks. However, the Yugoslav Partisan movement was able to appeal to all national groups, including Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks.[62] Josip Broz Tito was half-Croat half-Slovene.[2]

In Serbia and Serb territories, violent confrontations occurred particularly between nationalist Serbs towards non-nationalist Serbs who had criticized the Serbian government and the Serb political entities in Bosnia and Croatia.[63] Serbs who publicly opposed the nationalist political climate during the Yugoslav wars were reported to have been harassed, threatened, or killed.[63]

Timeline of the Yugoslav Wars[edit]

A shelled Croatian hotel resort of the Dalmatian coastline in Kupari near Dubrovnik (1991).


Log revolution. SAO Krajina is proclaimed over an indefinite area of Croatia.


Slovenia and Croatia declare independence in June, Macedonia in September. War in Slovenia lasts ten days.
The Yugoslav army leaves Slovenia, but supports rebel Serb forces in Croatia. The Croatian War of Independence begins in Croatia. Serb areas in Croatia declare independence, but are recognized only by Belgrade.
Cities of Vukovar, Dubrovnik, Karlovac and Osijek are devastated by bombardments and shelling. A flood of refugees from the war zones and ethnic cleansing overwhelm entire Croatia. Countries of Europe are slow in accepting refugees.
In Croatia, about 250,000 Croats and other non-Serbs were either removed out of their homes by the Serb forces or fled the violence.[64]


Sarajevo. Besieged residents collect firewood in the bitter winter of 1992.
Vance peace plan signed, creating four United Nations Protection Force zones for Serbs and ending large-scale fighting in Croatia.
Bosnia declares independence. Bosnian war begins with Serbs trying to create a new, separate Serb state, Republika Srpska, that would swallow as much of Bosnia as possible.
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia proclaimed, consisting of Serbia and Montenegro, the only two remaining republics.
United Nations impose sanctions against FR Yugoslavia and accepts Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia as members. FR Yugoslavia claims being sole legal heir to SFRY, which is disputed by other republics. UN envoys agree that Yugoslavia had 'dissolved into constituent republics'.
The Yugoslav army retreats from Bosnia, but leaves its weapons to the army of Republika Srpska, which attacks poorly armed Bosnian cities of Zvornik, Kotor Varoš, Prijedor, Foča, Višegrad, Doboj. Siege of Sarajevo starts.
Approx. 600,000 non-Serbian refugees.
Bosniak-Croat conflict begins in Bosnia.
Two Croatian Defense Council (HVO) T-55 Main Battle Tanks pull into firing position during a three-day exercise held at the Barbara Range in Glamoč, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Fighting begins in the Bihać region between Bosnian Government forces loyal to Alija Izetbegović, and Bosniaks loyal to Fikret Abdić who is supported by Serbs.
Sanctions in FR Yugoslavia, now isolated, create hyperinflation of 3.6 million percent a year of the Yugoslav dinar; this had never been known previously. The inflation exceeds that experienced in the Great Depression of 1929.
The Stari Most (The Old Bridge) in Mostar, built in 1566, was destroyed by Croats. It was rebuilt in 2003.


Peace treaty between Bosniaks and Croats arbitrated by the United States, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina formed.
FR Yugoslavia starts slowly suspending its financial and military support for Republika Srpska and stabilizes the economy structure with Economic Implementation Framework.


Srebrenica massacre reported, 8,372 Bosniaks killed by Serb forces.
Croatia launches Operation Storm, reclaiming all UNPA zones except Eastern Slavonia, and resulting in exodus of 150,000–200,000 Serbs from the zones. War in Croatia ends.
A boy at a grave during the 2006 funeral of Srebrenica victims
NATO launches a series of air strikes on Bosnian Serb artillery and other military targets. Croatian and Bosnian army start a joint offensive against Republika Srpska.
Dayton Agreement signed in Paris. War in Bosnia and Herzegovina ends. Aftermath of war is over 100,000 killed and missing and two million people internally displaced or refugees.[65] Serb defeat in Croatia and West Bosnia allows Croatian and Bosniak refugees to return to their homes, but many refugees of all nationalities are still displaced today.
After signing the Dayton Agreement, Yugoslavia is granted with looser sanctions, still affecting much of its economy (trade, tourism, industrial production and exports of final products), but allowing for its citizens to exit Yugoslavia, for a limited time.


FR Yugoslavia recognizes Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Fighting breaks out between Serbian forces and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
Following a fraud in local elections, hundreds of thousands of Serbs demonstrate in Belgrade against the Milošević regime for three months.


Eastern Slavonia peacefully reintegrated into Croatia, following a gradual three-year handover of power.
Fighting in Kosovo gradually escalates between Albanians demanding an independent Kosovo and the Serb forces.
Yugoslav Ministry of Defence building in Belgrade destroyed during the 1999 NATO bombing.


Račak massacre, Rambouillet talks fail. NATO starts a military campaign in Kosovo and bombards FR Yugoslavia in Operation Allied Force.
Following Milošević signing of an agreement, control of Kosovo is handed to the United Nations, but still remains a part of Yugoslavia's federation. After losing wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, numerous Serbs leave those countries to find refuge in Serbia. In 1999, Serbia was the host of about 700,000 Serb refugees.[66]
Fresh fighting erupts between Albanians and Yugoslav security forces in Albanian populated areas outside of Kosovo, with the intent of joining three municipalities to Kosovo.
Franjo Tuđman dies. Shortly after that, his party loses the elections.


Slobodan Milošević is voted out of office, and Vojislav Koštunica becomes the new president of Yugoslavia.
With Milošević ousted and a new democratic government in place, FR Yugoslavia comes out of isolation. The political and economic sanctions are suspended in total, and FRY is reinstated in many political and economic organizations, as well as becoming a candidate for other collaborative efforts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Transitional Justice in the Former Yugoslavia
  2. ^ a b Judah, Tim (17 February 2011). "Yugoslavia: 1918–2003". BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Finlan (2004), p. 8
  4. ^ Naimark (2003), p. xvii
  5. ^ Judith Armatta. Twilight of Impunity: The War Crimes Trial of Slobodan Milosevic. Duke University Press, 2010. P. 121.
  6. ^ Annex IV – II. The politics of creating a «Greater Serbia»: nationalism, fear and repression
  7. ^ Bosnia Genocide |United Human Rights Council
  8. ^ United Nations Security Council Resolution 827. S/RES/827(1993) 25 May 1993.
  9. ^ a b "Transitional Justice in the Former Yugoslavia". International Center for Transitional Justice. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  10. ^ "About us". Humanitarian Law Center. Archived from the original on 22 April 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  11. ^ Ewa Tabeau (15 January 2009). "Casualties of the 1990s wars in the former Yugoslavia (1991–1999)". Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia. 
  12. ^ Glenny (1996), p. 250
  13. ^ Bideleux & Jeffries (2007), p. 429
  14. ^ Google books
  15. ^ Google scholar
  16. ^ "Serbia and Kosovo reach EU-brokered landmark accord". BBC. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  17. ^ Brown & Karim (1995), p. 116
  18. ^ Annex IV – Prelude to the breakup
  19. ^ "Milosevic's Yugoslavia: Communism Crumbles". BBC News. 
  20. ^ Lenard J. Cohen, Jasna Dragović-Soso. State Collapse in South-Eastern Europe: New Perspectives on Yugoslavia's Disintegration. Purdue University Press, 2008. p. 323.
  21. ^ Race, Helena (2005). "Dan prej" – 26. junij 1991: diplomsko delo ["A Day Before" – 26 June 1991: Diploma Thesis] (in Slovenian). Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  22. ^ Prunk, Janko (2001). "Path to Slovene State". Public Relations and Media Office, Government of the Republic of Slovenia. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  23. ^ Annex III – The Conflict in Slovenia
  24. ^ Annex III – General structure of the Yugoslav armed forces
  25. ^ Annex III – Forces operating in Croatia
  26. ^ Six Senior Herceg-Bosna Officials Convicted
  27. ^ Joseph Pearson, 'Dubrovnik’s Artistic Patrimony, and its Role in War Reporting (1991)' in European History Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 2, 197–216 (2010),
  28. ^ "Profile: Ratko Mladic, Bosnian Serb army chief". BBC. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  29. ^ a b Meštrović (1996), p. 36.
  30. ^ Meštrović (1996), p. 7.
  31. ^ Meštrović (1996), p. 8.
  32. ^ a b The Prosecutor vs Milan Milutinović et al. – Judgement 26 February 2009, pp. 88–89
  33. ^ The Prosecutor vs Milan Milutinović et al. – Judgement 26 February 2009, p. 416.
  34. ^ Kosovo Liberation Army: The Inside Story of an Insurgency, Henry H. Perritt
  35. ^ Reflections on the Balkan Wars: Ten Years After the Break-up of Yugoslavia, Jeffrey S. Morton, Stefano Bianchini, Craig Nation, Paul Forage
  36. ^ War in the Balkans, 1991–2002, R. Craig Nation
  37. ^ Morton, Jeffrey S. (2004). Reflections on the Balkan Wars. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 57. ISBN 1-4039-6332-0.
  38. ^ "Renewed clashes near Kosovo border". BBC News. January 28, 2001. 
  39. ^ "Kostunica warns of fresh fighting". BBC News. January 29, 2001. 
  40. ^ a b "Who are the rebels?". BBC News. 20 March 2001. 
  41. ^ http://www.da.mod.uk/colleges/arag/document-listings/balkan/csrc_mpf-2004-07-22/04(15)-Chap1-JP.pdf
  42. ^ "Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in the Republic of Macedonia, 2002 – Book XIII, Skopje, 2005.". State Statistical Office of the Republic of Macedonia. 
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