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The 1990s Ethnic Conflict in Former Yugoslavia

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Wars, conflicts, reformations were most of the issues in the 19th century. The desire to seek for freedom, equality, and justice. In most of the wars and conflicts around the world in the 19th century was somehow based on religion, freedom, injustice, inequality and properties. The ethnic conflict in Yugoslavia was more complex than just internal conflict. It constitutes both internal and external factors. The ethnic groups in former Yugoslavia was a socialist state: Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Albanians, Slovenes, and others under a comparatively related communist regime after the Germany occupation in Second World War and a resentful ethnic conflict. By looking at the ethnic groups, the causes and the consequences of the war in former Yugoslavia, this essay will discuss the ethnic groups, the internal, international and the nationalism causes of the war and the long term effect of the ethnic conflict.

Firstly, the Yugoslavia war was an ethnical conflict fought between the 1991 to 2001 in the territory of former Yugoslavia. "The ethnic groups in Yugoslavia are constitute by individual identity whose bonds to loyalty are grounded in shared identity, and that these "national" identities are, in turn, both organic and political"[1]. These ethnic groups in Yugoslavia share the same ideology in social and political concept, sing, salute and cheers for the national teams but in the order hand, there are injustice, mistrust and inequality among the groups. "The tolerance for the differences made coexistence possible, but it also perpetuated and crystallized differences. Social and political differentiation, even oppression, brought conflict and even lasting hatreds in their wake, and were liable to break out into open warfare. They broke out into class struggles (landlord-peasant conflict) or political struggles, in history contexts of imperial crisis and nation-state-building wars"[2]. After the end of World War 1 and the collapse of the Austria -Hungary, the ethnic groups in Yugoslavia came together as one state, Yugoslavia was founded in 1918. In 1929, Yugoslavia was formally named as the kingdom of Yugoslavia. In addition, even as the common similarities between the Yugoslav state, on the other hand, the differences-religious, cultural, even linguistic-were unique and it were too great for the creation of a single nation.[3] To date this unique differences does not exist any longer.

The Yugoslavia conflict started in the name independence by Serbs in the 1802 with revolt and struggle to gain independent from the Ottoman Turks. After the death of Tito, many ethnic groups were seeking for their independence such as Slovenes and Croats, which was an act encourage by the Germany[4]. The denying of the nationality for both Serbs and Croats arises problem and also the Serbs consider the Muslims to be "historical traitors", which also caused a heated fire in the Yugoslavia state. "… anti- Muslim prejudices were shared by Croat and Serbs alike; it was the more overtly chauvinistic nationalist movements among Serbs…"[5]. After the revolt and protract struggle of Serbs in 1804 to regain their independence from the Ottoman Turks, Bosnia followed up for their independence which worsen the conflict in Yugoslavia. Most of the conflict was an internal affair concerning religions and ethnic groups. Nevertheless, Slovenes, Croat and other ethnic groups were seeking power for themselves in Yugoslavia state, there was huge conflict and war between the ethnic groups such as Serbs and Ottoman Turk, Serbs and the Bosnia. "Eight turbulent nations, forced by an "iron hand" to share the same for seventy years, finally demanded to separate from one another", which resulted in the breakdown into nation state.[6] The Serbs refused to grant other groups independent which resulted in another conflict of liberation.

International bodies such as the United Nations, USA, and Canada worsened the situation by getting involved in the conflict. UN and these international communities deliberately destroy former Yugoslavia. The UN failed to control the violence and the war because of wrong analysis of the conflict, which resulted in a wrongful approach to the situation. The intervention of international countries filled it. Wilmer states, '"the influence of the Cold War leads USA and the Soviet Union constitutes a bipolar' , the failure of the economy, politic crisis and the death of Tito in 1980 was also a part of the causes of Yugoslavia war[7]. The ignorance of NATO also worsened the situation; if NATO had intervened in the 1991 against the Yugoslav army, that could have reduced the war for which the western leaders not ready to risk the military power.

Nationalism which was also causes the war in Yugoslavia. After the second World War, nationalism began to fail and disappearing. Serbs claimed, Muslims planned to turning into Islamic state, the complaint that Croatian identity and culture had been submerged by Serbian political, cultural, and linguistic hegemony with Yugoslavia and the misguided policies of the interwar regime, which were based on the misperception that Serbian had been unfairly privileged following the World War 1[8]. On the other hand, the Serbs were arrogant to grant the rest of the groups independence after they gain theirs from the Ottoman Turks. This is because they have the military power, they wanted to control the whole Yugoslavia.

One of problematic aspects of war is the health of individual. The effect of the Yugoslavia war includes the health care issues for both the soldiers and civilians. The war caused several health diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and gastric ulcers due to stress that the people had. Croatia experienced a lot of these issues as well. Pregnant women were also in danger-not only as a factor of the war but also during prenatal development and giving birth. Complications during pregnancy and delivery increased due to the stress of the war, which reduces the population of Yugoslavia. Mortality was also an effect of the war. In addition, more people die and defect-related births reduced the pollution as well. The natural environment was destroyed by the art of the war which the future generation will suffer upon it. Industries was destroyed which also causes air and water pollution as well as the collapse of the economy. The forest landscape, and the soil were all destroyed by bombs and missiles.

The ethnic conflict in former Yugoslavia was one of the historical and long term effect that occurred in the history of central Europe. The desire for people or groups to gain their freedom from others is of importance. The ethnic conflict in former Yugoslavia fought for freedom and equality from their oppressors. The hate speech, propagandas and the media from both the Serbians and the Croats also causes anger and fear of the public. The killing and rape from some of the paramilitary organizations, which led to the violations of international humanitarian law.[9] Religion identity such as the Orthodox, Catholic and the Muslims also fury the conflict in Yugoslavia. International community intervention in some ethnic conflict some time worsen the situation, just like the intervention of the USA, Canada and the UN deliberately burn Yugoslavia to the ground. This conflict was one of the deadliest in the history of Central Europe that has had a long term effect. To date, the break down of the ethnic groups still exists. Even as the world moves to further civilization, these ethnic groups still have the cultural and religion differences among them.

Bibliography

Christopher Bennett, Yugoslavia's Bloody Collapse : Causes, Course and Consequences. Washington Square, New York: New York University Press, 1995.

Lenard J. Cohen and Jasna Dragovic-Soso, ed., State Collapse in South-Eastern Europe: New Perspectives on Yugoslavia's Disintegration. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2007.

Josip Glaudic, The Hour of Europe: Western Powers and the Breakup of Yugoslavia. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2011.

Dejan Jovic, Yugoslavia: A State that Withered Away. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2009.

Tim Judah, The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1997.

Sonia Lucarelli, Europe and the Breakup of Yugoslavia: A Political Failure in Search of a Scholarly Explanation. Leiden: Brill, 2000.

Viktor Meier, Yugoslavia: A History of its Demise. London and New York: Routledge, 1999.

Sabrina P. Ramet, Balkan Babel: the Disintegration of Yugoslavia from the Death of Tito to the Fall of Milosevic. Boulder: Westview Press, 2002. (4th edition).

Sabrina P. Ramet, Thinking about Yugoslavia: Scholarly Debates about the Yugoslav Breakup and the Wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Laura Silber and Allan Little, Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation. New York: Penguin Books, 1997.

Wilmer Frank, the social construction of man, conflict and violence in Former Yugoslavia. New York: Routledge, 2002

Catherine Samary, Yugoslavia dismembered (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1995).


[1] Wilmer Frank, the social construction of man, conflict and violence in Former Yugoslavia. New York: Routledge, 2002.8

[2] Catherine Samary, Yugoslavia dismembered (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1995).40

[3] Catherine Samary, Yugoslavia dismembered (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1995). 25

[4]Dejan Jovic, Yugoslavia, a state that withered away (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2009), 1.

[5] Franke Wilmer, The social construction of man, the state, and war: identity, conflict, and violence in former Yugoslavia (New York: Routledge, 2002), 184.

[6] Catherine Samary, Yugoslavia dismembered (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1995), 26.

[7] Franke Wilmer, The social construction of man, the state, and war: identity, conflict, and violence in former Yugoslavia (New York: Routledge, 2002), 173.

[8] Franke Wilmer, The social construction of man, the state, and war: identity, conflict, and violence in former Yugoslavia (New York: Routledge, 2002), 184-5.

[9] Franke Wilmer, The social construction of man, the state, and war: identity, conflict, and violence in former Yugoslavia (New York: Routledge, 2002), 193.


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