Still trying to understand what this region is all about, here is a bit
more Lonely Planet history. If anyone happens to read this and can give me
a clearer explanation, please do.
BiH was under Ottoman control from the 1460s. A Bosnian Muslim elite
resisted attempts to modernise and in the 19th century, the system
collapsed. The (mostly Christian) peasants rioted, and the Austro
Hungarian empire siezed power.
Bosnian catholics tended to associate with Croatia; Orthodox Bosnians with
Serbia. The Bosnian Muslims were left in between. Unrest led to the
Balkan Wars in 1912/13 with no real resolution. Then Archduke Franz Joseph
was famously assassinated by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Austria declared war
on Serbia, and WW1 followed. WW1 finished off the Turkish and
Austro-Hungarian empires, and BiH was absorbed into the proto-Yugoslavia.
In WW2, BiH was absorbed by Croatia, then a fascist state. Croatia’s
Ustase murdered Jews, Serbs and Muslims. Tito’s antifascist partisansC
fought the Germans and after the war, united the states into Yugoslavia.
After Tito’s death, Serb Slobodan Milosevic, and Croatia’s leader Tudman were at
war by 1991. BiH declared independence from Yugo in 1991, but Serb
paramilitaries prevented it. Over the next 3 yrs civil war raged, ethnic
cleansing being committed by Bosnian Croats on Serbs, and vice versa.
Pictures of concentratin camps were in the media, and the UN (unsuccessfully)
intervened and promised protection for persecuted Muslims but failed to
deliver. Nato took over in 1995 and carried out air strikes to end
the Serbs’ aggression. Bill Clinton proposed the Dayton Agreement, which
divided BiH into Serb, and Muslim-Croat areas, refugees started to return, and
Milosevic, Mladic and Karadzic were handed over to the Hague for trial.