Bosnian Crisis

2 May

For us to understand Zlata’s situation, we need to understand a little about the war that was going on around her.

  • Who was involved?
  • Where was it?
  • What was the outcome?
  • Why were they fighting?
– search for Bosnia or Yugoslavia
– select Bosnian War or Yugoslavian War from TOPIC
– select the reading level as 6-8
Choose one person from your group to focus on one of the above questions. Record your answers on a word document. Include a picture or two if it helps demonstrate your understanding.

You might also be interested in this resource.

Background to the War in Bosnia

The fighting in the 1990’s in Yugoslavia erupted between different religious and ethnic roups. The groups are not new enemies. Their differences are rooted deep in the past

The name Yugoslavia means land of the Southern Slavs. Most of its people are Slavs, one of Europe’s largest ethnic groups. The Yugoslavs are divided into smaller groups that have traditionally disliked one another.

As a country, Yugoslavia did not exist unitl afte World War I. It was put together out of many people and small countries. The people who suddenly became Yugoslavs had their own identities – most did not think of themselves as Yugoslavs, but rather as Croats, Serbs, Musilms, or other ethnic groups. Although there were many tensions, most Yugoslavs of different ethnic groups lived peacefully side by side. Often they were good neighbours, but deep-seated differences were close to the surface.

Following World War II, Yugoslavia was ruled by the Communist Marshal Tito (his real name was Josib Broz). Under Tito, a communist federation was formed that was made up of six republics: Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Slovenia. Tito was a strong leader and held all the republics together. After he died in 1980, the nation began to fall apart. In 1991, ll the republics declared their independence except powerful Serbia and tiny Montenegro.

The Serbs are the largest ethnic group in what used to be Yugoslavia. Most Serbs live in Serbia, but many others live in Croatia and Bosnia. Many Serbs now want their own unique country. They believe that Serbs should be ruled only by other Serbs. Serbian nationalists rebelled against the governments of Bosnia and Croatia in 1991. These rebellions quickly erupted into war.

Other world nations took a stand when the Yugoslavian conflict erupted. They wanted to help stop the war. The European Community, the United States, and the United Nations have worked to bring peace.

Image: ‘Sarajevo sunset

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