The Yugoslav Wars was a series of wars between the years of 1991 and 2001. The result of these wars was the former country of Yugoslavia breaking up into the countries of Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia (which includes the autonomous province of Vojvodina and the disputed state of Kosovo). These countries are the Balkans; they border the Mediterranean Sea. The major ethnic groups of this regions are: Slovenes, Serbs, Bosniaks, Macedonians, Albanians, Montenegrins, and Croats. Keep these ethnic groups in mind because it will become important later.
1917- The country of Yugoslavia was formed after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The State of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs joined with Serbia to form the republic of Yugoslavia.
1941-1953- In 1941 the Republic of Yugoslavia was invaded by Axis Powers. A communist party overthrew the Axis powers and instituted their government system.
1953-1980- In 1953 Josip Broz Tito was elected president he preaches. Tito was opposed to the USSR’s will to make Yugoslavia a satellite state. Due to this Yugoslavia was banned from Cominform, or the Communist Information Bureau. Josip Broz Tito preached unity. He died in 1980. After his death all of the separate ethnic groups in Yugoslavia began fighting for independence.
1991- Slovenian Independence War (Ten Day War): This war started when Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. The Slovenian rebels used old guerilla fighting methods to beat the Yugoslav People's Army. Both sides signed the Brioni Accord this ended in Slovenia gaining independence from Yugoslavia.
1991-1995- The Croatian War of Independence: On the same day that Slovenia declared independence Croatia declared it too. This war was made up of Croatians fighting against the Yugoslav People's Army which was predominantly made of Serbs. By 1992 ⅓ of the country was controlled by Serbian Control. There was a cease fire in 1992.
1991- Macedonia peacefully gained independence from Yugoslavia.
1992-1995- Bosnian War: Unlike most balkan states such as Slovenia which was mainly made up of Slovenes or Macedonia which was mainly made up of Macedonians; Bosnia and Herzegovina was made of many different ethnic groups the main ones being Bosniaks or Bosnian Muslims, Serbs and Croats. In 1992, The Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina or Republika Srpska declared independence from Bosnia and Herzegovina setting the war in motion. The Croats and the Serbs fought against the Bosniaks to prevent their independance. The People's Yugoslav Army placed its troops inside Bosnia and Herzegovina and used ethnic cleansing to secure areas for Serbs. On September 5 1995 NATO bombed Republika Srpska putting an end to the bloody, brutal war. This horrendous war killed over 100,000 people and displaced over 2,000,000. There are still around 120,000 landmines buried under the ground in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1992- Serbia and Montenegro joined to form a new Yugoslav state called Serbia and Montenegro (wow what a creative name).
1995-1999- The Kosovo War: Kosovo, Being an Albanian majority state wanted independence from Serbia. The Kosovo Liberation Army which was an Albanian military organization began fighting for independence. The Serbian Military targeted civilians to force Albanians out of the country. The UN organized a cease fire in 1999. The state of Kosovo is still disputed because Russia and China still do not recognize Kosovo but the majority of countries in the UN recognize Kosovo. Kosovo has a cute website where they thank every country; you can see it here.
2006- Montenegro decided to cut ties with Serbia.
This was the full timeline of the formation and breakup of Yugoslavia.
Sources & Images:
This is a map of the former Yugoslav Republic: This was the Bosnian War Aftermath:
Story by William Euler