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The Balkan Crisis Research Paper

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Updated: Oct 9th, 2019


The Balkan crisis that began in 1989 was a revolution that put to an end the Soviet-mode Communism in socialist states of East European nations beginning from the Baltic to Balkans; these proved to be both spectacular and largely unanticipated. The Balkan crisis that that began outgrew from collapse due to economic failures, the arms race and the availability of options to Communism.

The crisis started at the time when Slobodan Milosevic ascended to the presidency of Serbia, in 1989 when the country held its first democratic elections since the aftermath of the First World War. He turned out to be the president of Yugoslavia in the year 1997 (Gallagher 201).

The Balkan Crisis

After president Slobodan took over the presidency of Yugoslavia in started making vicious attacks on the Albanian ethnic group inhabiting the province of Kosovo. This led him into military contest with the NATO forces in 1999. The government of Slobodan Milosevic continuously engaged in violence and would only bow to threats of severe military intervention. It is important to note that the Balkan crisis led to the ultimate disintegration of the republic of Yugoslavia.

The disintegration led to realignment of forces which consequently resulted into tensions that were premised on ethnic, religious and political origins. This became intense as Slobodan Milosevic became president and swiftly began consolidating power and coming up with strategies to preserve that power. He initiated the oppression of the Albanian ethnic people who inhabited Kosovo.

It is recorded that the ethnic cleansing began in the summer of 1992 throughout Bosnia. The Serbian nationalists were in involved in ethnic cleansing with a clear objective to create a purely Serbian republic by killing and driving away non-Serbians (Gallagher pp. 202-210).

During the periods of ethnic cleansing, the non-Serbs were attacked by snipers and their villages were destroyed. Thousands of these non-Serb nationalists were tortured, expelled from their residences, executed, detained in camps and some raped, especially women and young females.

It is posited that rape and executions were tactically utilized to destroy the ties that existed in families and also communities. In July, 1995 the civilian women were separated from civilian men by the Serbian forces that then started the campaigns of killing non-Serbian men and even hunting those who were trying to escape through various forests (Gallagher pp. 202-210).

Bratunac killings (1992) that claimed more or less 350 (Muslim) men remain the largest known (mass) killing. Several confrontations ensued between Bosnian Muslims and Serbs of Bosnia in which the town of Srebrenica was interchangeably controlled by the two conflicting group. During the conflict period, the residents of Bosnia converged in the town which had been declared by the United Nations as safe.

Unfortunately, the Serbian forces continued to attack the town despite the United Nation’s claim. The Dutch military personnel tried to protect the Muslim men from the Serbian soldiers but were overwhelmed and could not stop the massacre that took place (Government Printing Office 20206).

In 1993, there was an attempt to resolve the crisis through what was known as Vance- Owen plan. This plan was drawn by a collaboration of various governments which included the United States of America and the Britain with support of other nations; the plan proposed that

The situation that has been experienced with regards to the Balkan crisis requires serious humanitarian interventions due to the fact that gravious violation of human rights has been going on within the state. Even though the issue was resolved by the United Nations in conjunction with other nations, the effects have not yet completely subsided.

The many decades of tension led to economic crises and destruction of property that left millions of people poor. This calls for serious humanitarian interventions even though many states and individuals are against the interventions.

The fact is that humanitarian intervention is one of the most important remedy to a situation where citizens have suffered in the hands of repressive government officials.

As the separated countries attempt to recover economically, so many citizens still go without the basic needs recognized by the United Nations as amongst the fundamental human rights; these are the rights to better healthcare, food, education and shelter.

Besides, it is crucial to note that many citizens who were victims of Serbian military campaign of mass murder have not yet psychologically recovered from the trauma of the mass massacre; they still need lots of counseling that can most probably be provided by humanitarian agencies.


The government of president Slobodan presided over the mass killing of many non-Serbian people in what is described as the first declared genocide in the world. The government created a lot of human crises in which many Muslim and non-Serbs were tortured and killed, women and young girls were raped and killed and lots of property was destroyed.

The impact of the Balkan crisis created a situation in which the region necessarily needs the intervention of humanitarian agencies to help the people of the region rebuild their lives and be able to take care of their fundamental basic needs. There were countries like the United States of American and the Britain amongst others that were involved in resolving the crisis (Gallagher pp. 201-2002).

Works Cited

Gallagher, Tom. The Balkans in the new millennium: in the shadow of war and peace. New York: Rutledge, 2005.

Government Printing Office. Political Science / Government / Legislative Branch. New York: Government Printing Office, 1998.

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