Sunday, May 04, 2008

"Divide and Fall?" by Radha Kumar--Chapter Four [1]


The first half of this chapter discusses the violent and discouraging first few months after Dayton, as the international community struggled to implement Dayton with inadequate forces and resources. Jockeying for power between the three main parties--and sometimes within those parties (such as the continuing rift between Izetbegovic and Silajdic)--continued both at the negotiating tables and on the ground, as troops changed uniforms from soldiers to police officers ostensibly enforcing law, order, and the equal treatment of all citizens.

Lawlessness was rampant, and organized gangs of thugs implemented ethnic cleansing in areas marked for transfer from one entity to another. The entrenchment of organized criminal gangs became a real issue, notably--but not solely--in western Herzegovina. And through it all, the international organizations found their mandates limited, sometimes forced to rely on local authorities who had no interest in aiding the successful implementation of Dayton. Sarajevo was further cleansed, as thousands of Serbs--terrorized both by the legitimate fear of retribution and exploitation at the hands of Muslim gangs, and by hysterical propaganda and strongarm tactics encouraging flight by the SDS--left the suburbs due to be returned to the Federation.

The agreement to end the war was furthering, and possibly solidifying, the work of ethnic partition.


I will summarize the second half of this chapter in my next post.

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