YUGOSLAVIA: THE AVOIDABLE WAR PART 2 OF 9
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of violent conflicts in the territory of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) that took place between 1991 and 2001. They comprised two sets of successive wars affecting all of the six former Yugoslav republics.
Alternative terms in use include the "War in the Balkans", or "War in (the former) Yugoslavia", "Wars of Yugoslav Secession", and the "Third Balkan War" (a short-lived term coined by British journalist Misha Glenny, alluding to the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913).
They were characterised by bitter ethnic conflicts between the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats, Bosniaks or Albanians on the other; but also between Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia and Macedonians and Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia. The conflict had its roots in various underlying political, economic and cultural problems, as well as long-standing ethnic and religious tensions.
The civil wars ended with much of the former Yugoslavia reduced to poverty, massive economic disruption and persistent instability across the territories where the worst fighting occurred. The wars were the bloodiest conflicts on European soil since the end of World War II.
They were also the first conflicts since World War II to have been formally judged genocidal in character and many key individual participants were subsequently charged with war crimes. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established by the United Nations to prosecute these crimes.