Sunday 30 July 2011, Bosnia Hercegovina
Tue 2 Aug 2011 16:52
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.