The second half of the twentieth century saw a growing trend toward democratization, or countries moving from repressive regimes to democratic governments. In Europe, this came largely at the end of the Second World War, with the fall of Nazi Germany, and more recently in Eastern Europe, with the fall of the Soviet Union. In the beginning of the last decade of the twentieth century, Europe experienced the bloodiest and most violent conflict since World War II when the former Balkan state of Yugoslavia unraveled. As its republics proclaimed independence one by one, the conflict escaladed and eventually exploded in the form of an ethnic civil war in its most central and most heterogeneous republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The almost four-year long war saw enormous losses and human rights abuses on all sides, making neighbors perpetrators and victims, one in the same. Splitting along ethnic lines, the citizens of Bosnia carried out massive atrocities against their former neighbors, creating concentration and labor camps, planning and carrying out massacres, shelling, sniping, executing, and holding its capital city hostage for three years.
[...] In Bosnia, there have been several attempts at its creation, the latest of which is being carried out by the Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo a non-governmental, non-profit, and non-partisan institution. It is largely made up of academics, intellectuals, and independent members from varying fields. While most people would agree on the necessity and value of such a ‘research project,' it has been very hard to find support for it within the government. When this commission was set up, it intended to find the ‘scientific truth' about what happened in the ten municipalities of Sarajevo during the war, when about 10,000 of its citizens of all nationalities died, decreasing its population of about half a million. [...]
[...] Many consider these projects to be very useful at certain stages of research about the war in Bosnia or in court proceedings, and even though the Atlas is available on the RDC website, in a country where a very small percentage of the population owns a computer, let alone internet, and even fewer are aware of the existence of RDC itself, it does not seem to be doing much good for the average war victim; the RDC has never carried out any form of advertisement of its commission, its goals and findings, and most citizens, even in Sarajevo, are still completely unaware of it. [...]
[...] Bosnia is now in the worst crisis since the war itself; its institutions are not able to function without a working constitution, and the central government cannot do its job because the representatives of the three ethnic groups cannot and will not agree, on almost anything. Even internationally recognized perpetrators found guilty at the ICTY are martyred for the perceived act of fighting for the identity of their respective ethnic groups. Ethnic nationalism (and therefore, in Bosnia, religious extremism) is becoming more severe in Bosnia as a consequence of these irreconcilable ‘truths' even as the nation is becoming more and more removed from the traumatic events of its past. [...]
[...] [ ] Post-Dayton Bosnia thus encompasses one weak federal state, two more or less ethnically defined entities, and three ethnic communities with mutually hostile armies and police forces”. Therefore, it is not a surprise then that the Republic of Bosnia and its central government have very little power in getting anything done as a “unified” state. Today, Bosnian consociationalism as implemented by the Dayton Agreement is failing in almost all possible arenas. The inter-entity boundary line created even deeper feelings of division between the previously inter-mixed ethnic groups, a feeling that has been continuously increasing since the end of the war. [...]
[...] Research and Documentation Center Sarajevo. http://www.idc.org.ba/index.php. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. April Aleksa Djilas, The Nation That Wasn't, as included in the “Black Book of Bosnia.” Pp 24-25. The New Republic, Inc. New York Aleksa Djilas, The Nation That Wasn't. As included in the “Black Book of Bosnia.” pg As seen in the appendix of the IFOR General Framework Agreement. Annex 2 The Agreement Inter-Entity Boundary Line and Related Issues. Appendix. http://www.nato.int/Ifor/gfa/gfa-an2.htm Bogdan Denitch. “Ethnic Nationalism: The Tragic Death of Yugoslavia.” Pages 212-213. [...]
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