Moscow State University historian worries about another Balkans war





A fragile peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), established 15 years ago after the bloodiest massacre in postwar Europe, could be threatened. President of Croatia Ivo Josipovic has complained about the situation of his compatriots in Bosnia, and hinted at the need to revise the Dayton Accords that ended the war....

Until 1878 the territory of Bosnia was a part of the Ottoman Empire, and Croats (along with Serbs) were the oppressed minority. Then this land became a part of Austria-Hungary, and there was no unity in the ranks of the Croats. Some of them along with the Serbs fought to create a single Yugoslavia state, while others, in contrast, had anti-Serbian attitudes. After 1918, Bosnia became a part of the future Yugoslavia controlled by a Serbian king. That was when the Croats, along with Muslims, expressed their discontent.

During World War II, Bosnia became a part of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) that allied with the Nazi. Croatian Ustashi along with the Muslims organized retaliatory attacks on Serbs who responded with violence. However, there were those among Muslims who were dissatisfied with the Croatian dominance as they remembered that once they were the dominant nation. Therefore, it would be an exaggeration to consider the Croats and Muslims to be the half-brothers in the fight against the Serbs....

Will the Croats seek the status of the national unity, which will certainly be opposed by the Muslims? Is BiH close to another war? Vadim Prozorov, Associate Professor of History Department of the Moscow State University, commented on the words of the President of Croatia, the situation of the Bosnian Croats and the general state of affairs in today's Bosnia and Herzegovina for Pravda.ru:

"Dayton Accords established an abnormal situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina that has not changed and that can only be changed by a miracle. Strictly speaking, this is what drew the attention of the president Josipovic. However, there is no real infringement of Croats in BiH. Dayton Accords took into account their interests, as much as their interests can be taken into account in this very ugly public union....

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