Bosnian war was ethnically rooted war (1992–95) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a former republic of Yugoslavia with a multiethnic population. After years of bitter fighting that involved the three Bosnian groups as well as the Yugoslav army, Western countries with backing by the NATO imposed a final cease-fire negotiated at Dayton, Ohio, U.S., in 1995. In 1991 several self-styled “Serb Autonomous Regions” were declared in areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina with large Serb populations. Evidence emerged that the Yugoslav People’s Army was being used to send secret arms deliveries to the Bosnian Serbs from Belgrade (Serbia). In August the Serb Democratic Party began boycotting the Bosnian presidency meetings, and in October it removed its deputies from the Bosnian assembly and set up a “Serb National Assembly” in Banja Luka. By then full-scale war had broken out in Croatia, and the breakup of Yugoslavia was under way. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s position became highly vulnerable. The possibility of partitioning Bosnia and Herzegovina had been discussed during talks between the Croatian president, Franjo Tudjman, and the Serbian president, Slobodan Miloševic, earlier in the year, and two Croat “communities” in northern and southwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina, similar in some ways to the “Serb Autonomous Regions,” were proclaimed in November 1991. When the European Community (later succeeded by the European Union) recognized the independence of Croatia and Slovenia in December, it invited Bosnia and Herzegovina to apply for recognition also. A referendum on independence was held during February 29–March 1, 1992, although Karadžić’s party obstructed voting in most Serb-populated areas and almost no Bosnian Serbs voted. Of the nearly two-thirds of the electorate that did cast a vote, almost all voted for independence, which President Izetbegovic officially proclaimed on March 3, 1992.
THE BOSNIAN WAR
was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995.
The war is commonly seen as having started on 6 April 1992, following a number of earlier violent incidents. The war ended on 14 December 1995. It was part of the breakup of Yugoslavia. Following the Slovenian and Croatian secessions from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991, the multi-ethnic Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina – which was inhabited mainly by Muslim Bosniaks 54%.