Past Genocides
The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was signedin December 1948, and has been in force since January 1951. Article II of the conventiondefines genocide as ANY of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:(a) Killing members of the group.(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physicaldestruction in whole or in part.(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.(e) Forcibly transferring children of one group to another group.The United States ratified the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of theCrime of Genocide in 1987.For information on the conflicts that have been identified as genocide, please see the links tothe right.
Genocides 1901-1951
 German Southwest Africa 1904-1908: Genocide of HererosOttoman Turkey 1915-1923:
Genocide of Armenians and Assyrians USSR 1932-1934: Soviet Genocide/Famine in Ukraine (
) Nazi Occupied Europe 1941-1945: Genocide of Jews (
) Nazi Occupied Europe 1941-1945: Genocide of Roma-Sinti (
Genocides Since 1951
East Pakistan 1971: Genocide in East Bengal Burundi 1972: Selective Genocide of Hutus. Cambodia 1975-1979: Khmer Rouge "Killing Fields"and Genocide Guatemala 1981-83: Genocide in the Maya Highlands Iraq 1987-88:
Campaign in Kurdistan Bosnia-Herzegovia 1992-1995: Serb
"Etnicko Ciscenje
" of Bosnian Muslims. 
Rwanda 1994:
"Hutu Power" Genocide of Tutsis
Bosnian Genocide
In the late-1980’s, the heterogeneous Yugoslav federation began to cleave along ethnic lines. Civil war erupted in 1992 against a backdrop of increasingly nationalist politics, including the idea of “Greater Serbia”. Between 1992 and 1995, Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks soldiers and paramilitaries usedwidespread use of rape, torture and forcible displacement against civilians. The actions of some Serbunits were particularly heinous, featuring attempts to eliminate non-Serb culture, a tactic soon to beknown as “ethnic cleansing”. Across Bosnia and Herzegovina civilians were herded into camps assmall scale massacres were committed. The most notorious of these was the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995, when more than 7,500 Bosniak men and boys in the U.N.-safe area, were executed byforces under General Radko Mladic. The estimates for the human cost of the Bosnian civil wars rangefrom 96,000 to 200,000, with a recent University of Washington-Harvard University study placing thefatalities near 167,000. Violence against civilians in Yugoslavia led to the creation of the InternationalCriminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia in 1993.When?The Bosnian referendum for independence took place on April 6, 1992. That day, Serb militantsopened fire on thousands of peaceful demonstrators in Sarajevo, killing at least five and wounding 30.One day later, Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic responded by blocking all roads leading to Sarajevoand shutting down the airport. About 400,000 Bosnian residents were trapped in the siege while beingcut off from basic life necessities such as food, medicine, water, and electricity. Food shortage was ahuge issue for those who managed to survive death by ammunition. An average Sarajevan lost 30 lbsduring the siege (Donia 2006). In 1994, UN officials reported that 7,272 flights had brought in 81,948tons of aid into Sarajevo via the humanitarian airlift. However, due to airport closings and airliftsuspensions caused by shelling and sniping attacks in the area, this effort is often suspended (UN1994).A number of tragic events took place during the siege. On June 1, 1993 at a soccer game, at leastfifteen people were killed and 80 more were wounded as a result of a mortar attack. Red Cross truckswere raided and destroyed and maternity wards were hit, killing mothers and newborns alike. Manymore were killed while in line for water. On February 29, 1996, the Bosnian government declared thatthe siege of Sarajevo was over but the scars still remain. By the end, its population had decreased byover 430,000. Not all of those people died though, many were able to escape via an 800-meter woodand iron tunnel. After opening in the summer of 1993, it was the only direct link Sarajevo had with theoutside world. It was used to transport everything from weapons to wounded people.Other massacres included the Lasva Valley case (1991) where the first destruction of mosques andBosnian homes, the first murders of civilians, and the first acts of pillage occurred. Around 2,000community members disappeared or were killed at this time.The Ahatovici massacre of 1992 saw heavy shelling by the Bosnian Serb Army. Sixty-four males between 15 and 75 years of age were taken away and tortured. They were put on a bus after being toldthat they would be part of a prisoner exchange. The Serbs then fired on the bus with automaticweapons and threw grenades in. Eight of them survived by hiding under the dead bodies of the other fifty-six men.Another atrocity, where Bosnian men were told they were part of prisoner exchange, happened onMount Vlasic in August 1992. 200 men were brought to the edge of a ravine at Koricani, shot and pushed over the 100-meter high cliff. Twelve victims survived by hanging on to the bushes and hidingin them but suffered further abuse while being treated for their wounds at the hospital.
The biggest conflict between Croats and the Bosnian government was the Ahmici massacre of Apri,1993. No one was spared when the Croat forces shelled the Bosnian part of the village and destroyedtwo mosques as the youngest victim was a three-month-old baby boy who was machine-gunned todeath in his crib. The oldest victim was a 96-year-old woman. They were two of the 120 estimateddeaths that day.Between 1992 and 1994 in Foca, all Bosnians were expelled from the area. Some 2,704 people aremissing or were killed during the massacres period. Additionally, Serb authorities set up locations – commonly described as rape camps – in which hundreds of women were raped. Aside from rape, thecampaign against non-Serb civilians in the region also included ethnic cleansing, mass murder, andthe deliberate destruction of Bosnian property and cultural sites.In the early evening hours of May 25, 1995, the Army of Republika Srpska shelled a gathering of young people in the city of Tuzla. 71 people were killed and more than 200 wounded. All of thevictims were civilians and the majority was between the ages of 18-25. Three days later they wereshelled from the same position.With many more massacres to name, the genocide lasted from Bosnia’s secession from Yugoslavia in1990 to the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement. In October, 1992, EU’s Lord David Owen and former I.S.Secretary of State Cyrus Vance proposed a draft constitution organizing Bosnia into a decentralizedfederation according to the “Vance-Owen” plan. Bosnian Serbs rejected this plan. Then in 1994, theUnited States decided to take on a more active role, seeking to back diplomacy with the threat of  NATO air power in protecting safe areas and UN peacekeepers. That same year the US special envoyhelped to reach a cease-fire between Bosnian Croats and Muslims. Shortly after, a five nation ContactGroup (United States, Russia, Britain, France,a nd Germany) drafted the 51/49 territorial compromisethat all sides eventually accepted. The Dayton Peace Agreement allotted 51% of the country to theCroat-Muslim Federation and 49% to Republika Srpska, or the Serb Republic. This took place from November 1 to November 21, 1995. The main participants from the region were Serbian PresidentSlobodan Milosavic, Croatian President Franjo Tudman, and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic,with Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed “Mo” Sacirbey. After its initiation in Dayton, Ohio, the fullagreement was signed in Paris, France on December 14, 1995. Other politicians of importance thatsigned the document were French President Jacques Chirac, U.S. President Bill Clinton, UK PrimeMinister John Major, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and Russian Prime Minister ViktoChernonmyrdin. Part of the agreement mandated international organizations to monitor, oversee, andimplement crucial parts of the agreement. One of the major criticisms of this agreement, though, isthat the current legal structure of the peace agreement does not follow some of the basic principles of international law, thus leaving the Bosnian territorial and political situation highly unstable andsensitive since 1995 when it was implemented.In 1996, SFOR (stabilization force) sent 20,000 American troops to prevent new hostilities. Accordingto Richard Holbrooke, the chief architect of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the country would not havesurvived without the presence of the troops. Also, contrary to popular belief before their deployment,no lives have been lost among those peacekeepers.Who?PerpetratorsSlobodan Milosevic of Serbia and Franjo Tudjman of Croatia used public media in their respectivedomains and turned television and radio into effective propaganda tools that intensified tensions between Serbs and Croats while demonizing the Muslims. At the same time, they were suppressingindependent media advocating for multi-ethnic coexistence. Milosevic, who is a declared war criminal, aimed at reviving dark memories of World War II, Ustasa’s (Croatian Nazi-like movement)killing of Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies. He did so by exhuming mass graves of Serbs and using those as proof that the Croats are enemies thus legitimizing his attacks on their lands.
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