Kill tally: Up to 200,000.
Background: The southern Slavic states of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia begin to merge as a single nation following the First World War. But the legacy of a 400-year occupation by the Islamic Ottoman Empire and traditional tension between Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians frustrate attempts for unity. Following the Second World War, Yugoslav communists led by Marshal Josip Broz Tito take control of the government, declaring the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia on 29 November 1945.
The veneer of Yugoslav stability begins to crumble when Tito dies on 4 May 1980. The prosperous northern states of Croatia and Slovenia start to agitate for autonomy. Macedonia and the Muslim majorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Serbian province of Kosovo repeat the call. Serbia has political power under the federation and does not want change. The poorer southern state of Montenegro supports the centralised federation and backs Serbia.
Mini biography: Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic.
Radovan Karadzic: Born on 19 June 1945 in Petnijca, a village near Savnik in the mountains of Montenegro. In 1960 he moves to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, where he studies medicine at the University of Sarajevo, graduating as a physician and psychiatrist. He also publishes poetry and books for children. In 1985 he is sentenced to three years imprisonment for embezzlement and fraud but never serves his time.
Ratko Mladic: Born on 12 March 1943 in the municipality of Kalinovik in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He pursues a military career in the Yugoslav People’s Army, rising to a command post. Read the rest of this entry »