Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina, known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe, located within the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is largest city. Bosnia and Herzegovina is an landlocked country – it has a narrow coast at the Adriatic Sea, about 20 kilometres long surrounding the town of Neum, it is bordered by Croatia to the north and south. In the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, the northeast is predominantly flatland; the inland, Bosnia, is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The southern tip, has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography. Bosnia and Herzegovina traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally and the country has a rich history, having been first settled by the Slavic peoples that populate the area today from the 6th through to the 9th centuries.
In the 12th century the Banate of Bosnia was established, which evolved into the Kingdom of Bosnia in the 14th century, after which it was annexed into the Ottoman Empire, under whose rule it remained from the mid-15th to the late 19th centuries. The Ottomans brought Islam to the region, altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country; this was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I. In the interwar period and Herzegovina was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, it was granted full republic status in the newly formed Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the republic proclaimed independence in 1992, followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina has grown at double digit rates in recent years. Bosnia and Herzegovina is regionally and internationally renowned for its natural environment and cultural heritage inherited from six historical civilizations, its cuisine, winter sports, its eclectic and unique music and its festivals, some of which are the largest and most prominent of their kind in Southeastern Europe.
The country is home to three main ethnic groups or constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second, Croats third. A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. Minorities, defined under the constitutional nomenclature "Others", include Jews, Poles and Turks. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. However, the central government's power is limited, as the country is decentralized and comprises two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, with a third unit, the Brčko District, governed under local government; the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of 10 cantons. Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks in terms of human development, has an economy dominated by the industry and agriculture sectors, followed by the tourism and service sectors; the country has a social security and universal healthcare system, primary- and secondary-level education is tuition-free.
It is a member of the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, PfP, CEFTA, a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean upon its establishment in July 2008. The country is a potential candidate for membership to the European Union and has been a candidate for NATO membership since April 2010, when it received a Membership Action Plan; the first preserved acknowledged mention of Bosnia is in De Administrando Imperio, a politico-geographical handbook written by the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII in the mid-10th century describing the "small land" of "Bosona". The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could derive from Illyrian *"Bass-an-as"), which would derive from the Proto-Indo-European root "bos" or "bogh"—meaning "the running water". According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia "adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna and themselves Bosniaks ".
The name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stjepan Vukčić Kosača's title, "Herceg of Hum and the Coast". Hum Zahumlje, was an early medieval principality, conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century; the region was administered by the Ottomans as the Sanjak of Herzegovina within the Eyalet of Bosnia up until the formation of the short-lived Herzegovina Eyalet in the 1830s, which remerged in the 1850s, after which the entity became known as Bosnia and Herzegovina. On initial proclamation of independence in 1992, the country's official name was the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina but following the 1995 Dayton Agreement and the new constitution that accompanied it the official name was changed to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia has been inhabited by humans since at least the Neolithic age; the earliest Neolithic population became known in the Antiquity as the Illyrians. Celtic migrations in the 4th century BC were notable. Concrete historical e
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, was a body of the United Nations established to prosecute serious crimes committed during the Yugoslav Wars, to try their perpetrators. The tribunal was an ad hoc court located in The Hague, Netherlands; the Court was established by Resolution 827 of the United Nations Security Council, passed on 25 May 1993. It had jurisdiction over four clusters of crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991: grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, violations of the laws or customs of war and crimes against humanity; the maximum sentence it could impose was life imprisonment. Various countries signed agreements with the UN to carry out custodial sentences. A total of 161 persons were indicted; the final fugitive, Goran Hadžić, was arrested on 20 July 2011.
The final judgment was issued on 29 November 2017 and the institution formally ceased to exist on 31 December 2017. Residual functions of the ICTY, including oversight of sentences and consideration of any appeal proceedings initiated since 1 July 2013, are under the jurisdiction of a successor body, the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. United Nations Security Council Resolution 808 of 22 February 1993 decided that "an international tribunal shall be established for the prosecution of persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991", calling on the Secretary-General to "submit for consideration by the Council... a report on all aspects of this matter, including specific proposals and where appropriate options... taking into account suggestions put forward in this regard by Member States". The Court was proposed by German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel. By 25 May 1993, the international community had tried to pressure the leaders of the former Yugoslavian republics diplomatically, politically, – with Resolution 827 – through juridical means.
Resolution 827 of 25 May 1993 approved S/25704 report of the Secretary-General and adopted the Statute of the International Tribunal annexed to it, formally creating the ICTY. It would have jurisdiction over four clusters of crime committed on the territory of the former SFR Yugoslavia since 1991: grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, violations of the laws or customs of war and crime against humanity; the maximum sentence it could impose was life imprisonment. In 1993, the ICTY built its internal infrastructure. 17 states have signed an agreement with the ICTY to carry out custodial sentences.1993–1994: In the first year of its existence, the Tribunal laid the foundations for its existence as a judicial organ. The Tribunal established the legal framework for its operations by adopting the rules of procedure and evidence, as well as its rules of detention and directive for the assignment of defense counsel. Together these rules established a legal aid system for the Tribunal; as the ICTY is part of the United Nations and as it was the first international court for criminal justice, the development of a juridical infrastructure was considered quite a challenge.
However after the first year the first ICTY judges had drafted and adopted all the rules for court proceedings.1994–1995: The ICTY established its offices within the Aegon Insurance Building in The Hague and detention facilities in Scheveningen in The Hague. The ICTY hired now many staff members. By July 1994 there were sufficient staff members in the office of the prosecutor to begin field investigations and by November 1994 the first indictment was presented and confirmed. In 1995, the entire staff came from all over the world. Moreover, some governments assigned their trained people to the ICTY. In 1994 the first indictment was issued against the Bosnian-Serb concentration camp commander Dragan Nikolić; this was followed on 13 February 1995 by two indictments comprising 21 individuals which were issued against a group of 21 Bosnian-Serbs charged with committing atrocities against Muslim and Croat civilian prisoners. While the war in the former Yugoslavia was still raging, the ICTY prosecutors showed that an international court was viable.
However, no accused was arrested. The court issued arrest warrants. Bosnian Serb indictee Duško Tadić became the subject of the Tribunal's first trial. Tadić was arrested by German police in Munich in 1994 for his alleged actions in the Prijedor region in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he made his first appearance before the ICTY Trial Chamber on 26 April 1995, pleaded not guilty to all of the charges in the indictment.1995–1996: Between June 1995 and June 1996, 10 public indictments had been confirmed against a total of 33 individuals. Six of the newly indicted persons were transferred in the Tribunal's detention unit. In addition to Duško Tadic, by June 1996 the tribunal had Tihomir Blaškić, Dražen Erdemović, Zejnil Delalić, Zdravko Mucić, Esad Landžo and Hazim Delić in custody. Erdemović became the first person to enter a guilty plea before the tribunal's court. Between 1995 and 1996, the ICTY dealt with miscellaneous cases involving several detainees, which never reached the trial stage. In 2004, the ICTY published a list of five accomplishments "in justice
Republika Srpska is one of the two political entities that compose Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Situated in the northern and eastern parts of the country, it is defined by its rich natural heritage, encompassing dense forests and rivers, its largest city and de facto capital, on the river Vrbas, is Banja Luka. The territory that now makes up Republika Srpska subject to Illyrian and Celtic settlement, was invaded by the Slavs in the 6th and 7th centuries and, in the mediaeval era, it was variously ruled by the Byzantine Empire, mediaeval Serbian states, the Frankish Empire, the Kingdom of Croatia, the Kingdom of Bosnia, the mediaeval Kingdom of Hungary and, by the end of the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire. After centuries of Ottoman-Habsburg conflict, the area became a part of the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes in 1918 following World War I. Following World War II, it became part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as part of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The creation of the modern entity of Republika Srpska dates to 1991, when six Serb Autonomous Regions united during the Yugoslav Wars. It achieved international recognition following the Dayton Accords and the end of the Bosnian War in 1995. Today, Republika Srpska maintains a parliamentary-style government, with the National Assembly holding legislative power within the entity. Republika Srpska is centralised, although it is split into 2nd-level administrative units, or opštine, of which there are 56; the legislature holds 83 seats, the current session is the ninth since the formation of Republika Srpska. Republika Srpska translated from Serbo-Croatian, means'Serb Republic'. Although the name Republika Srpska is variously glossed in English as'Serb Republic','Bosnian Serb Republic', or'Republic of Srpska', the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and English-language news sources such as the BBC, The New York Times, The Guardian refer to the entity by its untranslated name. According to Glas Srpske, a Bosnian Serb daily, the modern entity's name was created by its first minister of culture, Ljubomir Zuković.
Archaeological evidence in Republika Srpska, as well as bordering areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, attest to settlement since the Paleolithic. In 1976, near the modern-day town of Stolac in the then-relatively hospitable Neretva basin, archaeological artifacts in the form of cave engravings in Badanj and deer bones in the area were discovered to show hunter-gatherer settlement from as far back as 14,000 to 10,000 BC. Within the wider region of Herzegovina, similar discoveries tie the region's early settlement to Montenegro and coastal Croatia. With the Neolithic, came more permanent settlement; this occurred along the rivers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as farming spread from the southeast. A variety of idols of female character, were found in the Butmir site, along with dugouts. With the Indo-European migrations of the Bronze Age came the first use of metal tools in the region. Along with this kurgans. Remains of these mounds can be found in northwestern Bosnia near Prijedor, testament to not only denser settlement in the northern core of today's Republika Srpska but Bronze Age relics.
With the influx of the Iron Age, the Glasinac culture, developing near Sokolac in eastern Republika Srpska, was one of the most important of the country's long-standing Indo-European inhabitants, the Illyrians. These Illyrians—the Autariatae—were influenced by the Celts after the Gallic invasion of the Balkans. With the end of the Illyrian Wars, most of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska came under Roman control, within the province of Illyricum. In this period, the Romans consolidated the region through the construction of a dense road network, the Romanisation of the local population. Among these roads was the Via Argentaria, or the'Silver Way', which transported silver from the eastern mines of Bosnia to Roman population centres. Modern placenames, such as the Una river and the Sana river in the northwest, have Latin origins, meaning "the one" and the "healthy", respectively; this rule was not uninterrupted, however. Following 20 AD, the entirety of the country was conquered by the Romans and it was split between Pannonia and Dalmatia.
The most prominent Roman city in Bosnia was the small Servitium, near modern-day Gradiška in the northern part of the entity. Christianity spread to the region late at least due to the countryside's mountainous nature and its lack of large settlements. In the fourth century, the country began to be Christianised en masse. With the split of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires in 395, modern-day Republika Srpska fell under the Western Roman Empire. Testament to its and Bosnia and Herzegovina's religious polarization, it was conquered as a frontier of the Eastern Roman Empire, a harbinger for religious division to come. With the loosening of Roman grip on the region came the Migration Period which, given Republika Srpska's position in southeastern Europe, involved a wide variety of peoples. Among the first was the invasion of Germanic peoples from the east, the territory became a part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom in 476. By 535, the territory was taken once again by the Byzantine Empire. At this time, the Empire's grip was once again loose, Slavs, including the Serbs and the Croats, invaded the s
Genocide is intentional action to destroy a people in whole or in part. The hybrid word "genocide" is a combination of the Latin suffix - caedo; the United Nations Genocide Convention, established in 1948, defines genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, racial or religious group". The term genocide was coined by Raphael Lemkin in his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. Others are listed in Genocides in List of genocides by death toll; the Political Instability Task Force estimated that, between 1956 and 2016, a total of forty-three genocides took place, causing the death of about 50 million people. The UNHCR estimated that a further 50 million had been displaced by such episodes of violence up to 2008. Before 1944, various terms, including "massacre", "crimes against humanity", "extermination" were used to describe intentional, systematic killings. In 1941, Winston Churchill, when describing the German invasion of the Soviet Union, spoke of "a crime without a name".
In 1944, Raphael Lemkin created the term genocide in his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. The book describes the implementation of Nazi policies in occupied Europe, cites earlier mass killings; the term described the systematic destruction of a nation or people, the word was adopted by many in the international community. The word genocide is the combination of the Greek prefix geno- and caedere; the word genocide was used in indictments at the Nuremberg trials, held from 1945, but as a descriptive term, not yet as a formal legal term. According to Lemkin, genocide was "a coordinated strategy to destroy a group of people, a process that could be accomplished through total annihilation as well as strategies that eliminate key elements of the group's basic existence, including language and economic infrastructure". Lemkin defined genocide as follows: Generally speaking, genocide does not mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation.
It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, national feelings and the economic existence of national groups, the destruction of the personal security, health and the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups; the preamble to the 1948 Genocide Convention notes that instances of genocide have taken place throughout history. But it was not until Lemkin coined the term and the prosecution of perpetrators of the Holocaust at the Nuremberg trials that the United Nations defined the crime of genocide under international law in the Genocide Convention. Lemkin's lifelong interest in the mass murder of populations in the 20th century was in response to the killing of Armenians in 1915 and to the mass murders in Nazi-controlled Europe.
He referred to the Albigensian Crusade as "one of the most conclusive cases of genocide in religious history". He dedicated his life to mobilizing the international community, to work together to prevent the occurrence of such events. In a 1949 interview, Lemkin said "I became interested in genocide, it happened to the Armenians after the Armenians, Hitler took action." After the Holocaust, perpetrated by Nazi Germany and its allies prior to and during World War II, Lemkin campaigned for the universal acceptance of international laws defining and forbidding genocides. In 1946, the first session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that "affirmed" that genocide was a crime under international law and enumerated examples of such events. In 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide which defined the crime of genocide for the first time. Genocide is a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, as homicide is the denial of the right to live of individual human beings.
Many instances of such crimes of genocide have occurred when racial, religious and other groups have been destroyed or in part. The CPPCG was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948 and came into effect on 12 January 1951, it contains an internationally recognized definition of genocide, incorporated into the national criminal legislation of many countries, was adopted by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which established the International Criminal Court. Article II of the Convention defines genocide as:... any of the following acts committed with i
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
The Srebrenica massacre known as the Srebrenica genocide, was the July 1995 massacre of more than 8,000 Bosniaks men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War. The killings were perpetrated by units of the Bosnian Serb Army of Republika Srpska under the command of Ratko Mladić; the Scorpions, a paramilitary unit from Serbia, part of the Serbian Interior Ministry until 1991 participated in the massacre. In April 1993 the United Nations had declared the besieged enclave of Srebrenica—in the Drina Valley of northeastern Bosnia—a "safe area" under UN protection. However, the UN failed to both demilitarise the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina within Srebrenica and force the withdrawal of the VRS surrounding Srebrenica. UNPROFOR's 370 Dutchbat soldiers in Srebrenica did not prevent the town's capture by the VRS—nor the subsequent massacre. In 2004, in a unanimous ruling on the case of Prosecutor v. Krstić, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, located in The Hague, ruled that the massacre of the enclave's male inhabitants constituted genocide, a crime under international law.
The ruling was upheld by the International Court of Justice in 2007. The forcible transfer and abuse, of between 25,000 and 30,000 Bosniak women and elderly which accompanied the massacre was found to constitute genocide, when accompanied with the killings and separation of the men. In 2005, Kofi Annan Secretary-General of the United Nations described the mass murder as the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War, in a message to the tenth anniversary commemoration of the massacre, he wrote that, while blame lay "first and foremost with those who planned and carried out the massacre and those who assisted and harboured them", the UN had "made serious errors of judgement, rooted in a philosophy of impartiality", describing Srebrenica as a tragedy that would haunt the history of the UN forever. In 2006, in the Bosnian Genocide case held before the International Court of Justice and Montenegro was cleared of direct responsibility for, or complicity in, the massacre, but was found responsible for not doing enough to prevent the genocide and not prosecuting those responsible, in breach of the Genocide Convention.
The Preliminary List of People Missing or Killed in Srebrenica compiled by the Bosnian Federal Commission of Missing Persons contains 8,373 names. As of July 2012, 6,838 genocide victims have been identified through DNA analysis of body parts recovered from mass graves. In April 2013, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić apologised for the massacre, although he stopped short of calling it genocide. In 2013 and 2014, the Netherlands was found liable in its own supreme court and in the Hague district court of failing in its duty to prevent more than 300 of the deaths. On 8 July 2015, Russia, at the request of the Republika Srpska and Serbia, vetoed a UN resolution condemning the Srebrenica massacre as genocide. Serbia called the resolution "anti-Serb", while European and U. S. governments affirmed. On 9 July 2015, both the European Parliament and the U. S. Congress adopted resolutions reaffirming the description of the crime as genocide. On 22 November 2017, Ratko Mladić was convicted of various crimes at the United Nations' tribunal, including genocide for his role at Srebrenica.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment. The judgement is under appeal; the multiethnic Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was inhabited by Muslim Bosniaks, Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats. Following a declaration of national sovereignty on 15 October 1991 as the former Yugoslavia began to disintegrate, a referendum for independence was held on 29 February 1992; the result, in favour of independence, was rejected by the political representatives of the Bosnian Serbs who had boycotted the referendum. The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was formally recognised by the European Community and the United States in April 1992. Following the declaration of independence, Bosnian Serb forces, supported by the Serbian government of Slobodan Milošević and the Yugoslav People's Army, attacked the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to unify and secure Serb territory. A fierce struggle for territorial control ensued, accompanied by the ethnic cleansing of the non-Serb population from areas under Serb control.
The predominantly Bosniak area of Central Podrinje had a primary strategic importance to Serbs, as without it there would be no territorial integrity within their new political entity of Republika Srpska. They thus proceeded with the ethnic cleansing of Bosniaks from Bosniak ethnic territories in Eastern Bosnia and Central Podrinje. In the words of the ICTY judgement: Once towns and villages were securely in their hands, the Serb forces—the military, the police, the paramilitaries and, sometimes Serb villagers—applied the same pattern: Muslim houses and apartments were systematically ransacked or burnt down, Muslim villagers were rounded up or captured and, in the process, sometimes beaten or killed. Men and women were separated, with many of the men detained in the former KP Dom prison. In neighbouring Bratunac, Bosniaks were either killed or forced to flee to Srebrenica, resulting in 1,156 deaths, according to Bosnian government data. Thousands of Bosniaks were killed in Foča, Zvornik and Snagovo.
The Bosnian Institute in the UK has published a list of 296 villages
Đorđe Petrović OSA, better known by the sobriquet Black George, or Karađorđe, was a Serbian revolutionary who led the struggle for his country's independence from the Ottoman Empire during the First Serbian Uprising of 1804–1813. Born into an impoverished family in the Šumadija region of Ottoman Serbia, Karađorđe distinguished himself during the Austro-Turkish War of 1788–1791 as a member of the Serbian Free Corps, a militia made up of Habsburg and Ottoman Serbs, armed and trained by the Austrians. Fearing retribution following the Austrians' and Serb rebels' defeat in 1791, he and his family fled to the Austrian Empire, where they were to live until 1794, when a general amnesty was declared. Karađorđe subsequently became a livestock merchant. In 1796, the rogue governor of the Sanjak of Vidin, Osman Pazvantoğlu, invaded the Pashalik of Belgrade, Karađorđe fought alongside the Ottomans to quash the incursion. In early 1804, following a massacre of Serb chieftains by renegade Ottoman janissaries known as Dahis, the Serbs of the Pashalik rebelled.
Karađorđe was unanimously elected to lead the uprising against the Dahis at an assembly of surviving chiefs in February 1804. Within six months, most of the Dahi leaders had been captured and executed by Karađorđe's forces, by 1805, the final remnants of Dahi resistance had been crushed. Karađorđe and his followers now demanded far-reaching autonomy, a move which Sultan Selim interpreted as but the first step towards complete independence. Selim promptly ordered an army to march into the Pashalik; the Ottomans suffered a string of defeats at the hands of Karađorđe's forces. By 1806, the rebels had captured all the major towns in the Pashalik, including Belgrade and Smederevo, expelled their Muslim inhabitants. Burdened by the demands of the Russo-Ottoman War of 1806–1812, Selim offered the Serbs extensive autonomy, but Karađorđe refused in light of Russia's avowal to aid the rebels should they continue fighting. Frequent infighting, together with Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812, weakened the rebels, the Ottomans were able to reverse many of their gains.
Karađorđe was forced to flee Serbia in October 1813 and Belgrade fell that month, bringing the First Serbian Uprising to a close. He and his followers were arrested and detained. Despite Ottoman requests for his extradition, the Austrians handed Karađorđe over to the Russians, who offered him refuge in Bessarabia. There, he joined the Greek secret society known as Filiki Eteria, which planned to launch a pan-Balkan uprising against the Ottomans. Karađorđe returned to Serbia in secret in July 1817, but was killed shortly thereafter by agents of Miloš Obrenović, a rival rebel leader, concerned that Karađorđe's reappearance would cause the Ottomans to renege on the concessions that they had agreed to following the Second Serbian Uprising of 1815. Karađorđe is considered the founder of the Karađorđević dynasty, which ruled Serbia in several intervals during the 19th and 20th centuries, his murder resulted in a violent, decades-long feud between his descendants and those of Obrenović, with the Serbian throne changing hands several times.
Đorđe Petrović was born into an impoverished family in the village of Viševac, in the Šumadija region of Ottoman Serbia, on 16 November 1768. He was the oldest of his parents' five children, his father, Petar Jovanović, had since become a peasant farmer. His mother, was a homemaker. Petrović's surname was derived from his father's given name, in line with contemporary Serbian naming conventions. Like most of his contemporaries, Petrović was illiterate, his family celebrated the feast day of Saint Clement. They are said to have been descended from the Vasojevići tribe of Montenegro's Lim River valley, his ancestors are thought to have migrated from Montenegro to Šumadija in the late 1730s or early 1740s. Petrović's childhood was difficult, his parents were forced to move around in search of a livelihood. His father worked as servant for a sipahi, an Ottoman cavalryman. Petrović himself spent his adolescence working as a shepherd. In 1785, he married Jelena Jovanović; the couple had seven children. Petrović worked for several landlords across Šumadija until 1787, when he and his family left the region and settled in the Austrian Empire, fearing persecution at the hands of the Ottoman janissaries.
It is said that as they were preparing to cross the Danube into Austria, Petrović's father began to have second thoughts about leaving Šumadija. Knowing that the entire family would be put in jeopardy if his father stayed behind, Petrović either took his father's life or arranged for someone to kill him instead. Following the outbreak of the Austro-Turkish War of 1788–1791, Petrović joined the Serbian Free Corps, took part in fighting the Ottomans in western Serbia; the Free Corps was a volunteer militia made up of both Ottoman and Habsburg Serbs, armed and trained by the Austrians. It was led by a Habsburg Serb officer, Major Mihailo Mihaljević. Petrović's participation in the war brought him invaluable military experience, as well as insight into the Austrians' military techniques, he was decorated for bravery, reaching the rank of sergeant. In this capacity, he was given command over a squad of 25 men; the Au