Balkan Conflicts (1991 - 1995) (1998 - 2001)

Former Yugoslavia

The disintegration of former Yugoslavia post cold war saw conflicts which became mediated and produced peace agreements in Slovenia (where the brief independence conflict was mediated by the EC Troika in 1991), Croatia (between Croatian and Serb populations 1991-1995), in Bosnia (between Croatian, Serb and Bosniak populations 1992-1995), in Macedonia (where mediation played a key pre-emptive role in preventing large scale conflict in 2001), in Kosovo (between Kosovar Albanians and Serbian population and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), but also between FRY and NATO, 1998-1999), and a conflict in the Presevo Valley (between Albanians in South Serbia and FRY, 2000-2001). The continued fall-out of the disintegration of former Yugoslavia also saw mediated agreement and ultimate dissolution of the Union between Serbia and Montenegro.


In 1991, after nationalist parties won the first multi-party elections in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a violent process of disintegration commenced. With its mixed population, Bosnia-Herzegovina became the centre of the following civil war that began in 1992 between the newly formed army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (mostly Muslim Bosniacs), and the parastatal forces of self-declared Bosnian Croat (Herzeg-Bosnia) and Bosnian Serb (Republika Srpska) entities within Bosnia-Herzegovina, supported by Croatia and Serbia, with various, often short-lived, coalitions. The General Framework Agreement (Dayton Peace Agreement), signed in 1995, split the country into two ethno-federal entities, the Bosniak-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska, and included continued peacekeeping and institutional administration by international actors.


The conflict between Serbs and Kosovar Albanians has a long history and always involved territorial disputes as well as ethno-political, cultural and linguistic factors. The most recent phase of the conflict began in November 1997 when the Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA or UCK) began their campaign for the independence of Kosovo from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY – then Serbia and Montenegro). The subsequent war lasted until the NATO intervention, which undertook bombing campaigns of Belgrade and other places in Serbia during spring 1999. The main agreements solving the conflict were internationally driven and, finally, a UNSC resolution imposed a post-conflict arrangement in the wake of what was essentially a NATO military victory. In February 2008, Kosovo’s parliament declared independence, but independence is still internationally disputed.

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