Ethnic cleansing in the Bosnian War
Widespread ethnic cleansing accompanied the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–95), as large numbers of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Bosnian Croats were forced to flee their homes and were expelled by Bosnian Serbs; some Bosnian Croats also carried out similar campaign against Bosniaks and Serbs. Also, Bosnian Muslims conducted similar acts against Croats in Central Bosnia  and against Serbs in the Operation Sana 
The methods used during the Bosnian ethnic cleansing campaigns included "murder, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, extra-judicial executions, rape and sexual assaults, confinement of civilian population in ghetto areas, forcible removal, displacement and deportation of civilian population, deliberate military attacks or threats of attacks on civilians and civilian areas, and wanton destruction of property".
Ethnic cleansing "is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas. (Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 780)".
An earlier draft by the Commission of Experts described ethnic cleansing as "the planned deliberate removal from a specific territory, persons of a particular ethnic group, by force or intimidation, in order to render that area ethnically homogenous." which it based on "the many reports describing the policy and practices conducted in the former Yugoslavia, 'ethnic cleansing' has been carried out by means of murder, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, extra-judicial executions, rape and sexual assaults, confinement of civilian population in ghetto areas, forcible removal, displacement and deportation of civilian population, deliberate military attacks or threats of attacks on civilians and civilian areas, and wanton destruction of property. Those practices constitute crimes against humanity and can be assimilated to specific war crimes. Furthermore, such acts could also fall within the meaning of the Genocide Convention".
Ethnic cleansing is not to be confused with genocide. These terms are not synonymous, yet the academic discourse considers both as existing in a spectrum of assaults on nations or religio-ethnic groups. Ethnic cleansing is similar to forced deportation or 'population transfer' whereas genocide is the "intentional murder of part or all of a particular ethnic, religious, or national group." The idea in ethnic cleansing is "to get people to move, and the means used to this end range from the legal to the semi-legal." Some academics consider genocide as a subset of "murderous ethnic cleansing." Thus, these concepts are different, but related, "literally and figuratively, ethnic cleansing bleeds into genocide, as mass murder is committed in order to rid the land of a people."
In reviewing the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Bosnian Genocide Case in the judgement of Jorgic v. Germany on 12 July 2007 the European Court of Human Rights quoted from the ICJ ruling on the Bosnian Genocide Case to draw a distinction between ethnic cleansing and genocide.
The term 'ethnic cleansing' has frequently been employed to refer to the events in Bosnia and Herzegovina which are the subject of this case ... General Assembly resolution 47/121 referred in its Preamble to 'the abhorrent policy of 'ethnic cleansing', which is a form of genocide', as being carried on in Bosnia and Herzegovina. ... It [i.e. ethnic cleansing] can only be a form of genocide within the meaning of the [Genocide] Convention, if it corresponds to or falls within one of the categories of acts prohibited by Article II of the Convention. Neither the intent, as a matter of policy, to render an area "ethnically homogeneous", nor the operations that may be carried out to implement such policy, can as such be designated as genocide: the intent that characterizes genocide is "to destroy, in whole or in part" a particular group, and deportation or displacement of the members of a group, even if effected by force, is not necessarily equivalent to destruction of that group, nor is such destruction an automatic consequence of the displacement. This is not to say that acts described as 'ethnic cleansing' may never constitute genocide, if they are such as to be characterized as, for example, 'deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part', contrary to Article II, paragraph (c), of the Convention, provided such action is carried out with the necessary specific intent (dolus specialis), that is to say with a view to the destruction of the group, as distinct from its removal from the region. As the ICTY has observed, while 'there are obvious similarities between a genocidal policy and the policy commonly known as 'ethnic cleansing' ' (Krstić, IT-98-33-T, Trial Chamber Judgment, 2 August 2001, para. 562), yet '[a] clear distinction must be drawn between physical destruction and mere dissolution of a group. The expulsion of a group or part of a group does not in itself suffice for genocide. — ECHR quoting the ICJ.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1,270,000
(63 percent of the group)
(67 percent of the group)
(39 percent of the group)
- Prijedor ethnic cleansing
- Lašva Valley ethnic cleansing
- Bugojno ethnic cleansing
- Foča ethnic cleansing
Destruction of religious buildings
|Destroyed by Serbs||Destroyed by Croats||Damaged by Serbs||Damaged by Croats||Total destroyed during the war||Total damaged during the war||Total||Total no. before the war||Percentage of pre-war damaged or destroyed|
|small neighbourhood mosque||21||20||175||43||41||218||259||557||47%|
|Buildings of religious endowments||125||24||345||60||149||405||554||1,425||39%|
|Destroyed by Muslims||Destroyed by Serbs||Damaged by Muslims||Damaged by Serbs||Total destroyed during the war||Total damaged during the war||Total|
- Committee on Foreign Relations, US Senate, The Ethnic Cleansing of Bosnia-Hercegovina, (US Government Printing Office, 1992)
- "Studia Croatica:ANATOMY OF DECEIT, by Jerry Blaskovich, M.D." © 1997 Jerry Blaskovich. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
- "Croats and Muslims Advance; Thousands More Refugees on the Move". www.apnewsarchive.com.
- "Bosnia: Dayton Accords". www.nytimes.com.
- Wren, Christopher S. "Resettling Refugees: U.N. Facing New Burden".
- Report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), 27 May 1994 (S/1994/674), English page=33, Paragraph 129
- Report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), 27 May 1994 (S/1994/674), English page=33, Paragraph 130
- [Schabas W. A., 2000, Genocide in International Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.]
- Naimark, 2001 [Naimark N. M., 2001, Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in 20th Century Europe, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.]
- [Mann M., 2005,The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.]
- [Naimark, N. 2007, Theoretical Paper:Ethnic Cleansing, Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2016-02-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- ECHR Jorgic v. Germany[permanent dead link] §45 citing Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro ("Case concerning the application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide") the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found under the heading of "intent and 'ethnic cleansing'" § 190
- Friedman 2013, p. 78.
- Islam and Bosnia: Conflict Resolution and Foreign Policy in Multi-Ethnic States, Maya Shatzmiller, page 100, 2002
- Destroyed and damaged Catholic churches and religious buildings in Bosnia and Herzegovina in war 1991 - 1995 (original title: Srušene i oštećene katoličke crkve i vjerski objekti u Bosni i Hercegovini u ratu 1991. - 1995), Slobodan Praljak, page 39, 2009
- Friedman, Francine (2013). Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Polity on the Brink. Routledge. ISBN 9781134527540.