20 Years Since The Bosnian War

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the Bosnian War, a long, complex, and ugly conflict that followed the fall of communism in Europe. In 1991, Bosnia and Herzegovina joined several republics of the former Yugoslavia and declared independence, which triggered a civil war that lasted four years. Bosnia's population was a multiethnic mix of Muslim Bosniaks (44%), Orthodox Serbs (31%), and Catholic Croats (17%). The Bosnian Serbs, well-armed and backed by neighboring Serbia, laid siege to the city of Sarajevo in early April 1992. They targeted mainly the Muslim population but killed many other Bosnian Serbs as well as Croats with rocket, mortar, and sniper attacks that went on for 44 months. As shells fell on the Bosnian capital, nationalist Croat and Serb forces carried out horrific "ethnic cleansing" attacks across the countryside. Finally, in 1995, UN air strikes and United Nations sanctions helped bring all parties to a peace agreement. Estimates of the war's fatalities vary widely, ranging from 90,000 to 300,000. To date, more than 70 men involved have been convicted of war crimes by the UN.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Pedro Pardo / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Central American Immigrant Caravan

    Photographs of the U.S.-bound caravan of Central American immigrants over its first 10 days, from Honduras to Mexico, and some of the difficult paths taken by those involved

  • Toru Hanai / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Virtual Parish, Drone Tourism, Rock Santa

    A royal visit to Australia, a Napoleonic-battle reenactment in Spain, marijuana legalization in Canada, fall colors in Japan and Europe, and much more

  • Henry Nicholls / Reuters

    Images of the Season: Fall Is in the Air, Part 2

    One last look at my favorite season of the year, with more autumnal images from across the Northern Hemisphere

  • Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters

    Robots at Work and Play

    Recent images of robotic technology around the world