the Serbian occupation of Bosanki Brod in October opened a
corridor between Serbia and Krajina in Bosnia. The Serbian
Bosnians conquered control of 70% of the area, thanks to the
superiority of their artillery and tanks; it also managed to
control the crossings of the River Drina, on the border
between Serbia and Bosnia, which enabled them to illegally
receive arms and other supplies from the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia. As a result of this support, the UN imposed an
arms embargo and economic blockade on the Federal Republic,
as well as an arms embargo on Bosnians and Croats.
The Muslims were rapidly reduced in numbers in Sarajevo
and other smaller areas, and could only count on financial
and moral support from a few Islamic states and received
only sporadic, humanitarian aid from the UN in the form of
food supplies flowing into the country - and only with the
permission of the Serbian Bosnians.
The Serbian President, Slobodan Milosovic, and his
Croatian counterpart, Franco Tudjman, advocated for the
division of Bosnia-Herzegovina into three ethnic units, one
Serbian, one Croatian and one Muslim, within the framework
of a federal state, which corresponded to a UN-EU peace
proposal, which envisaged a division into semi-autonomous
regions, under the control of the respective ethnic groups.
Croats, under the impression of the imminent division of
Bosnia, sought to secure a favorable position of power, and
in July launched an offensive against Hercegovina's largest
city, Mostar. The UN Human Rights Commission reported that
10,000 Muslims were detained in Croatian concentration
camps, where they were subjected to torture and arbitrary
At the same time, the situation in Sarajevo deteriorated
with a lack of electricity, water and food. Despite
epidemics, the population of 300,000 survived on minimal
food rations, while aid organizations had trouble accessing
the city. The UN threatened the Serbs in early 1994 to stop
the attacks against Sarajevo and to withdraw their heavy
artillery, but the resolution was never implemented.
The UN and EU mediators drafted a proposal for a
breakdown of Bosnia, with the Serbs to be allocated 52%, the
Muslims 30% and the Croats 18% of the total territory. This
territorial settlement divided the country into 3 ethnic,
homogeneous republics, which forced the displacement of
population groups from one republic to another. The play was
rejected by the Bosnian government, who believed it would
legitimize the already ongoing ethnic cleansing.
The US and Russia intensified pressure on the Serbs in
the hope that they would accept this proposal. Croats and
Muslims agreed on a federal agreement between the population
groups: 51% of the country should be led by Bosnians and
Croats, while the Serbs would control 49%, without splitting
the republic into 3 ethnically "pure" states.
A federal agreement was signed by Presidents Franjo
Tudjman of Croatia and Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia, with
support from the EU, Washington and Moscow, but the plan was
rejected by the Serbs. Negotiations were made more difficult
when Serbian President Slobodan Milosovic, who is the
Serbian diplomatic representative, stated that he had no
authority over the self-proclaimed Republika Srpska.
In 1995, the Bosnian Serbs captured hundreds of "blue
berets" and captured Bihac. The situation changed radically
when NATO launched bombing of the Serbian positions around
the city of Sarajevo on August 30. Almost simultaneously,
Croatia initiated the deportation of about 200,000 Serbs
from the Krajina region, in an attempt to force the Serbs to
the negotiating table.
Under intense military pressure from the United States
and as part of Bill Clinton's reelection campaign, one of
the elements of the peace process initiated in Dayton, Ohio,
was the election of September 1996, with the hope that it
would lead to the choice of more tolerant leaders from the
population groups involved.
The November/December 1995 Dayton Accords recognized the
existence of two ethnically "pure" mini-states, based on
either pure physical annihilation or displacement of ethnic
minority groups; the two states are the Serbian-Bosnian
Republic, Republika Srpska, and the Islamic-Croat
The International Criminal Court in The Hague made the
head of the Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, and his army
chief, Ratko Mladic, responsible for the genocide. Under the
Dayton Accords, people accused of war crimes are prohibited
from participating in elections. Despite international
condemnation, both of these two continue to be free and
continue to have a significant influence in political life.