By Metta Spencer. Appendix to The Lessons of Yugoslavia: Research on Russia and Eastern Europe, Vol. 3, Metta Spencer, ed. (Amsterdam, London: JAI, Elsevier, 2000.)
1908. Bulgaria declares its independence from the Ottoman Empire; the Austro-Hungarian Empire takes control of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1912. The First Balkan War. Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro jointly drive the Turks out of Macedonia and northern Greece.
1913. Greece, Serbia and Romania fight Bulgaria in a Second Balkan War over territory.
1914. In Sarajevo a Serbian nationalist assassinates Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Austria retaliates against Serbia, drawing in other European powers and igniting World War I.
1918. Germany and the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires are defeated in World War I. The two empires are dissolved, and new Balkan political borders are drawn up by victorious allied powers. The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes is formed. Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina had been part of the fallen Austro-Hungarian empire; Serbia and Montenegro had been an independent state. Macedonia was then part of Serbia. In the war’s aftermath, both Albanians and Serbs lay claim to Kosovo. The newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes regains control of Kosovo. As a minority, Albanians are promised extensive rights by minority rights treaties. The Albanians, however, claim the guarantees are never implemented and that the Serbs engage in widespread massacres and repression in the 1920s. The Serbs also accuse Albania of fomenting discontent in Kosovo.
1929. King proclaims his personal dictatorship and abolishes the constitution. The monarchy’s name is changed to Yugoslavia.
1931. The King grants a constitution to Yugoslavia, reducing the power of the parliament.
1934. King Aleksandr is assassinated.
1941. Yugoslav Croats join with the Nazi side alter Germany invades. Josip Broz Tito begins a Serb-led partisan war against the Germans and Croats.
1945. The monarchy becomes a communist republic after World War II, under Prime Minister Tito, and is called the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia. It is composed of six republics: Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia, and Montenegro, as well as two provinces of Serbia — Kosovo and Vojvodina.
1948. Stalin ends the special relationship between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.
1963. A new constitution introduces ‘socialist democracy’, self-management.
1971 ‘Croatian Spring’, is a political reform movement, emerges in Zagreb, then other democratic reformists emerge among students in Belgrade.
1974. A new constitution is adopted for the federal government. It grants autonomy to Serbia’s Kosovo and Vojvodina provinces, emphasizes ethnic pluralism.
1980. Tito keeps ethnic tensions in check until his death in 1980, when without his pan-Slavic influence, ethnic and nationalist differences become tense. • May: Death of Tito.
1981. Students rebel in Kosovo, with local Albanian nationalist support. • The federal constitution is amended, but without providing mechanisms for the democratic management of ethnic relations.
1987. Serb nationalist Slobodan Milošević becomes leader of Yugoslavia, carries on a chauvinistic nationalist movement through 1989.
1989. The Yugoslav government rescinds Kosovo autonomy. • May: Milošević becomes president of the Republic of Serbia. • June: A million people meet in Kosovo to hear Milošević proclaim the land sacred to Serbs.
1990. September: Serbia adopts a new constitution. • April—December: First multiparty elections in six republics of former Yugoslavia. Serbian Communist Party leader Slobodan Milošević is elected Serbian President.
1991. June: US Secretary of State James Baker visits Belgrade, meets with political leaders. • Slovenia and Croatia each declare independence. • With 90% of its population ethnic Slovenians, Slovenia is able to break away with only minor fighting. Because 12% of Croatia’s population is Serbian, however, rump Yugoslavia lights against its secession for the next four years. As Croatia moves towards independence, it evicts most of its Serbian population. • July: Yugoslav army announces withdrawal from Slovenia. • ‘Mothers Movement’ forms spontaneously in Serbia with the outbreak of war in Slovenia; its members demand that their sons in the army be brought back from Slovenia. • July: Genscher begins pushing the EC to recognize Croatia and Slovenia. • August 25: Fight begins over Vukovar, will last 86 days. • Throughout summer: Serb—Croat skirmishes going on since early 1991 escalate into war in Croatia between Croats and rebel Serbs, backed by the Yugoslav army. • September: United Nations imposes antis embargo on all of former Yugoslavia, including Bosnia • Kosovo’s clandestine parliament declares Kosovo a sovereign and independent state. A month later, a national referendum sees overwhelming approval from the Albanians for the decision. • October: Serbs shell Dubrovnik. • Slovenia and Croatia each declare independence. • November: Cyrus Vance is negotiating a truce between Croatia and Yugoslavia’s. army. • December 23: Germany recognizes Croatia and Slovenia without waiting .for the decision of the Badinter Commission. The European Community, under pressure from Germany, also agrees to do so.
1992. During this year, 100,000 to 150,000 professionals leave Serbia. • Albanians organize multiparty elections which are declared illegal by the Serbs. The Democratic League wins 96 out of 140 seats and Rugova is elected president. He opts for passive resistance to Serb rule warning his fellow citizens not to provide the Serbs with a pretext for a violent crackdown in Kosovo. • Macedonia declares independence. • January: The truce negotiated by UN mediator Cyrus Vance is signed; it will prove lasting. UN peacekeepers will patrol it, with headquarters in Sarajevo, in attempt to prevent war in Bosnia. • Feb. to March 1992: Croatians, originally fighting with the Muslims against the Serbs, start their own ‘ethnic cleansing’ campaign. • The UN Security Council sends 14,000 peacekeeping troops to Croatia. • March 3: Bosnia declares itself an independent nation. Bosnian Serbs demand that Bosnia withdraw its declaration of independence. When this does not happen, fighting begins. • April: Rock concert is held in Serbia to show popular solidarity with Sarajevo. • April: Bosnia and Herzegovina declares independence. It is 43.7% Muslim, 31.4% Serbian, and 17.3% Croatian. It erupts into war. By 1995, the country has been partitioned into three areas, each governed by one of the three ethnic groups and made up of roughly 90% of its own ethnic group. • Serbia and Montenegro form the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with Slobodan Milošević as its leader. This new government is not recognized by the United States as the successor state to the former Yugoslavia. • The U.S. and European Union recognize Bosnia as independent state. • Nationalist Serb snipers fire on peaceful demonstrators in Sarajevo, marking the beginning of the war. Bosnian Serb soldiers are formally discharged from the Yugoslav army, but allowed to keep all of their weapons. • Intense lighting in Bosnia. • May 27: A mortar shell fired from a Serb position in the hills of Sarajevo kills 16 people waiting in line for bread. • UN imposes sanctions on Serb-led Yugoslavia. • May 3: Bosnia’s Muslim president, Alija Izetbegović, is taken hostage by Yugoslav troops on return from peace talks in Lisbon, freed the following day. • Yugoslav army relinquishes command of its estimated 100,000 troops in Bosnia, effectively creating a Bosnian Serb army. • May 30: United Nations imposes sanctions on a new, smaller Yugoslavia made up of Serbia and Montenegro, for fomenting war in Bosnia and Croatia. • Summer: There are reports of ‘ethnic cleansing’, a policy of slaughtering Muslim inhabitants of towns or driving them away, in order to create an ethnically pure region. Reports of concentration camps, mass rapes. • June 29: Peacekeepers hoist UN flag at Sarajevo airport after Serbs leave. • July 3: International airlift begins to Sarajevo. • August: Major international conference on Yugoslavia in London. Agreements on aid, cease-fire, never implemented. • Sept. 19: UN Security Council drops Yugoslavia from General Assembly. • Nov. 16: UN Security Council authorizes naval blockade of Serbia and Montenegro.
Winter 1992-93. Gas, water and electricity service are at best sporadic in Sarajevo. UN humanitarian convoys to Muslim enclaves in central Bosnia crowded with refugees are blocked by Serb forces, leading to acute shortages of food, fuel, and medicine. UN declares several Bosnian cities ‘safe areas,’ to no one’s relief. • Pres. Clinton orders humanitarian aid and food to be air-lifted to those places.
1993. Real income per capital in Yugoslavia drops to 44% of its 1989 level, with inflation among the highest in world economic history. Unemployment rate is 15%. • Jan. 2: International mediators Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen unveil plan to divide Bosnia into 10 provinces, mostly along ethnic lines. • Feb. 22: Security Council sets up a war crimes tribunal for former Yugoslavia. • March 25: Izetbegovic signs Vance-Owen peace plan in New York. • March: Bosnian Croats and Muslims begin lighting over the 30% of Bosnia not seized by Bosnian Serbs. • April 12: NATO jets begin to enforce UN no-fly zone over Bosnia. • April 26: Tighter UN trade sanctions against Yugoslavia. • April and May: Croatian side, openly supported by Croatian regular military units, attacks the Bosniacs, who had been their allies until then. The Croatian leaders intend to divide Bosnia with the Serbs, creating Greater Croatia. • Following Serb assault on Srebrenica and dramatic crisis of refugees arriving in Tuzla, Security Council declares six ‘safe areas’ for Bosnian Muslims: Sarajevo, Tuzla, Bihać, Srebrenica, Zepa and Goražde. • May 2: Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic signs Vance-Owen plan in Greece, but his assembly rejects it. • May 15-16: In a referendum, Bosnian Serbs overwhelmingly reject Vance-Owen plan in favor of an independent Bosnian Serb state. • May 31: Yugoslav federal Parliament ousts Dobrica Cosić, seen as too peaceable by Milošević, as Yugoslav federal president. Thousands demonstrate, clash with police in Belgrade. • June 16: Mediators meet with Milošević, Izetbegović, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and Bosnian leaders in Geneva. Plan emerges to split Bosnia three ways. Izetbegović walks out. • July 30: Warring sides reach preliminary agreement in Geneva on Union of Republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina with three states and three peoples. • August: Izetbegović walks out alter Serbs violate cease-lire. • Fall: Bosnian Government army makes some territorial gains against Croatian separatists, reputedly with the arms supplied by the Serbs. Both Yugoslav and Croatian army regulars are observed fighting in Bosnia. • The breakaway Serb republic of Bosnia orders a general mobilization among all the Bosnian Serb refugees, planning for an all out assault that will lead to the end of war. • Bosnian government rejects the Owen Stoltenberg Plan, which would have maintained the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but divided it internally along ethnic lines. • Mortar barrages on Sarajevo lighten up, and Serbs withdraw from some strategic positions, when US and NATO threaten air strikes. Firing resumes when it becomes obvious that no action will be taken.
1994. January: France, which has the most UN troops in Bosnia, calls for NATO to use air strikes to relieve the humanitarian crisis in Bosnia. French intellectuals start a party ‘Europe Begins at Sarajevo’, for the elections for the European Parliament. Its platform is that Europe’s humanity and civility is challenged by its inactivity in the Bosnia crisis. • Feb. 4: The market place massacre, which leaves 68 people dead and over 200 wounded in Sarajevo leads NATO to issue ultimatum for Serbs to withdraw their artillery to 20 km from Sarajevo, and for all warring parties to hand over their heavy weapons to UN observers. • Feb. 9: NATO gives Bosnian Serbs 10 days to withdraw heavy guns from Sarajevo region or face air strikes. • Feb. 17: Karadzić agrees to remove guns from around Sarajevo if soldiers from Russia join peacekeeping mission. • Feb. 20: Russian peacekeepers arrive. NATO deadline expires; UN says it is satisfied heavy guns are being removed. • Feb. 28: U.S.F-16 fighters, flying for NATO, down four Bosnian Serb warplanes violating “no-fly” zone. The shots are the first fired by NATO. • March 18: In Washington, Bosnia’s Muslim-led government and Bosnian Croats sign a U.S.-brokered accord, ending a year-long war. • April 22: After two air strikes against Serbs advancing on Goražde, NATO delivers fresh ultimatum to Serbs to stop firing and pull back or face air strikes. • April 27: UN says the Serbs have mostly complied with NATO ultimatum. • May: The major powers form the Contact Group, an informal Security Council of the UN in which Germany replaces China. It announces a new peace plan, including a four-month cease-fire and eventual partition of Bosnia. • Summer: Bosnian Government army makes successful advances against separatist Serbs, recapturing some or the territory around Bihać, in Bosnia’s North-East corner. • July: Croats accept the Contact Group plan outright. Muslims reluctantly, Bosnian Serbs reject it. • Aug. 4: Milošević cuts ties with Bosnian Serbs for rejecting plan. • Fall: Cease fire around Sarajevo is spotty, but holding. Bosnian Serb forces are reinforced by Croatian Serb forces from the neighboring Krajina region, press against Bosnian government, re-recapturing the region around Bihać is shelled and bombed relentlessly. NATO ‘strikes back’ and bombs the runways in the Serb held airport in Krajina from which bombing raids are flown. Serbs hold over 300 UN troops hostage against further air raids. • Oct. 29: Bosnian government forces score their biggest victory of the war around Bihać, northwest Bosnia. Fierce Serb counterattack a week later. • Nov. 21: NATO launches its largest action ever, about 50 jets and support planes attacking Serb airfield, but fail to take out Serb jets attacking Bihać. • Nov. 25: Serbs detain 55 Canadian peacekeepers against further air strikes. Eventually more than 400 peacekeepers held. NATO attempts air strike on Serbs near Bihać. Mission called off after UN fails to pinpoint targets. • Dec. 20: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter ends mediating mission with announcement of Bosnian cease-fire. Ceasefire does not affect Croat Serbs who continue the siege of Bihać. Despite early problems with violence, the cease-fire lasts four months.
1995. Jan. 1: Four-month, nationwide truce takes effect. Bihać is never quiet; elsewhere, fighting dies down or stops. • Jan. 28: 1000th day of the siege of Sarajevo. • Feb: Cease-fire violations by Bosnian Serbs are increasingly common. UN monitors observe helicopters crossing from Serbia to Bosnia, presumably to resupply the Bosnian Serbs, a breach of promise by Milošević to put them under an internal embargo. • Feb. 13: United Nations tribunal on human rights violation in the Balkans charges 21 Bosnian Serb commanders with genocide and crimes against humanity. • Feb. 15 — 22: Under the pressures from European allies, U.S. agrees to loosen economic sanctions against Yugoslavia, in return for Milošević‘s recognition of territorial integrity of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Milošević refuses. • Mar. 9: According to New York Times, a CIA report has concluded that 90% of the acts of ‘ethnic cleansing’ were carried out by Serbs and that leading Serbian politicians almost certainly played a role in the crimes. • April 8: U.S. aid plane hit by gunfire, all UN aid flights to Sarajevo canceled. • May 1, 1995: Fighting renews as Carter’s four month cease-fire ends in Bosnia. • Croatian government begins a new offensive against Croatian Serbs. • UN efforts to extend the truce fail. • Croatia launches blitz offensive to recapture chunk of land from rebel Serbs. Serbs retaliate by rocketing Zagreb; six killed, nearly 200 wounded. • May 24: UN orders Serbs to return heavy weapons to UN control and remove all heavy weapons around Sarajevo. The UN commander in Bosnia threatens to use strikes if heavy weapons in Sarajevo are not silenced within 24 hours. • May 25: Serbs ignore UN order. NATO attacks Serb ammunition depot. Serbs respond by shelling safe areas’, including Tuzla, where 71 people are killed and over 150 injured. • May 26: Bosnian Serbs seize UN peacekeeping troops, using them as human shields against NATO airstrikes. All hostages are subsequently released. Several days later, British Prime Minister John Major says it may be necessary to remove British troops from Bosnia if the risk becomes too great. • NATO warplanes attack more ammunition depots. Eventually more than 370 UN peacekeepers are seized. • May 28: France, Britain and United States send thousands more troops toward Bosnia. • June 2: Serbs shoot down U.S.F-16 over northern Bosnia, release 121 UN hostages. • June 3: NATO defense chiefs, meeting in Paris, agree on rapid reaction force to bolster UN peacekeepers in Bosnia. • June 6: U.S. envoy Robert Frasure fails to agree after weeks of talks with Milošević on Serbia recognizing Bosnia. • June: Serbs release 111 more UN hostages. • June 8: U.S. Marines rescue downed pilot of U.S. F-16. • NATO approves new rapid reaction force, but also says peacekeepers will leave Bosnia by fall if rebel Serbs don’t accept new force. Complex evacuation plan approved. • June 14: All but last 26 UN hostages released. • June 15: Bosnian government launches offensive to break siege of Sarajevo. Offensive gradually stalls; Serbs step up shelling of Sarajevo and other ‘safe areas’. • June 18: Last 26 UN hostages released. • June 30: Bosnian government, increasingly bitter, demands review of UN mission. • German parliament approves deployment of fighter jets for rapid reaction force. • July: United Nations peacekeepers undertake ‘Operation Active Presence’, deploying troops so as to deter a Croatian attack in the Krajina; it does not succeed. • July 2: French peacekeepers use 120 mm mortar on lone road into Sarajevo. • July 6: Gen. Mladic’s forces begin shelling Srebrenica. • July 10: Serbs capture Srebrenica and the Dutch peace keepers, launch biggest mass murder in Europe since World War II. • July 11: Last-minute NATO air strikes fail to stop Serb advance. Serb forces sweep into the UN safe area, causing a massive exodus of civilians. Dutch peacekeepers call in air strikes by U.S. and Dutch warplanes, but the defensive effort fails and the peacekeepers withdraw. • July 12-13: Some 20,000 Muslim women, children and elderly expelled to Tuzla, bringing tales of atrocities. • July 16-17: Some 4,000 Muslim men who marched through Serb-held land reach government-held Tuzla; another 11,000 thought missing. • July 18: Bosnian government troops threaten to take UN peacekeepers hostage unless the UN orders air strikes to prevent the fall of Zepa. The Bosnian Serbs, close to capturing the town, say they’ll respond to air strikes by shelling eight Ukrainian peacekeepers, who are in a UN base near Zepa. • July 21: NATO threatens to use air strikes. After international military leaders meet in London. NATO threatens air strikes to protect the safe area of Goražde, early use of Rapid Reaction Force. • July 23: UN commanders in Bosnia order the Rapid Reaction Force to send artillery units to Sarajevo. Part of a 12,000-member contingent of mostly French and British soldiers, the special combat group settles in at Mount Igman overlooking the city. A day later. UNPROFOR spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Vernon warns of escalation in the Bosnian conflict • Serbs kill two French peacekeepers; UN threatens punishment from Rapid Reaction Force. • July 25: Safe area of Zepa crumbles before advancing Bosnian Serb forces. Many Muslim refugees are packed onto evacuation buses by Bosnian Serbs. After executing the Muslim commander of the government forces, the Serbs burn the town. • War crimes tribunal indicts Karadzić, Mladić for genocide, crimes against humanity. Mantić charged with war crimes for bombing Zagreb. • July 26: The US Senate votes to lift the arms embargo against Bosnia. Imposed on all of former Yugoslavia in September 1991, the embargo weighs heaviest on Bosnian government forces because Serbs inherited weapons from the Serb-led Yugoslav army. • July 28: The war widens as Croatia sends thousands of troops into Bosnia. They cut Serbian supply lines and over take the towns Of Glamoc and Grahavo in southwestern Bosnia. The days to come will bring more Croatian gains. July 31: Croats shell outskirts of Knin. • August 1: The U.S. Congress votes to lift the arms embargo against Bosnia. President Clinton warns that this will involve US troops in an evacuation of UN peace keepers.* NATO extends its threat of anti-Serb air strikes to protect UN safe areas beyond Goražde. • Aug. 3: Offer by rebel Serbs to bow to some Croatian authority rejected by government. Serbs shell Dubrovnik area. • August 4: Less than 36 hours after starting their advance, Croatian forces recapture the rebel Serb ‘capital’ of Knin, shelling UN peacekeepers and civilians. Recapture most of Serb-held lands in four days. • Thousands of Serb civilians beginning stream toward Bosnia. Eventually more than 180,000 flee their homes: • NATO warplanes fire missiles at Croatian Serb radar site after being threatened by surface-to-air missiles. • Aug. 7: Column of Serb refugees attacked by military jet; at least live killed. • Aug. 9: Mobs of Croats batter Serb refugees with bricks, chunks of concrete in Sisak. • Aug. 10: U.S. ambassador to UN calls for war crimes tribunal investigation after spy photographs show evidence of mass graves of executed Bosnian Muslims. • Aug. 18: UN diplomats shuttle between Serb and Croat leaders with peace plan. Peacekeepers begin pull out from Goražde. • Aug. 19: Three key diplomats for US peace initiative, Robert Frasure, Joseph Kruzel and Nelson Drew, killed when armored personnel carrier slips off Mount Igman road. Three other Americans and three French injured. • Aug. 20: Human rights investigators suspect at least four mass graves exist around Knin. • Aug. 22: Serbs shell Sarajevo region, killing six and wounding 38, including six Egyptian peace keepers, after government shells Serb arms factory. • Aug. 28: Bosnian Serbs fire shell into a busy Sarajevo market area, killing 37 and wounding scores. • UN secretly pulls out last peacekeepers of Goražde enclave. • Aug. 30: NATO planes launch massive air strikes to silence Serb guns around Sarajevo. Serbs shell Sarajevo in response. • Sept. 1: NATO suspends attacks; U.S. announces that hos tile parties agree to a discuss permanent peace. • Sept. 5: NATO resumes attacks to force withdrawal of Serb guns around Sarajevo. • Sept. 8: Warring factions agree to formally maintain Bosnia but sub-divide it into Serb and Muslim-Croat sections. • Sept. 13: Croats and Muslims advance on Serbs in central and western Bosnia. • Sept. 14: NATO suspends attacks. Milošević pledges that Bosnian Serbs will withdraw guns from around Sarajevo. Red Cross says about 8,000 Muslims from Srebrenica missing and unaccounted for. • Sept. 15: Serbs let Sarajevo airport reopen for the first time in five months. • Sept. 26: Bosnian factions agree on basic outlines of peace plan. • Sept. 29: European Union accuses Croatian army of murder, mass looting, arson. • Oct. 3: Rebel Serbs in Croatia agree to give up last swath of territory they hold there. • Oct. 5: Warring Bosnian parties agree to a 60-day cease-fire. • Nov. I: Bosnian peace talks open in Dayton, Ohio. • Nov. 16: Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzić and Gen. Ratko Mladić, his military commander, indicted for war crimes for their alleged roles in Srebrenica massacres. • Nov. 21: Balkan leaders initial peace accord, granting 5 i % of Bosnian territory to Muslim-Croat federation; 49% to Serbs. • Nov. 22: Security Council suspends sanctions against Serbia, eases arms embargo against former Yugoslavian states. • Nov. 23: Karadzic accepts peace plan after meeting with Milošević. • Nov. 30: UN votes to end peacekeeping mission by Jan. 31. • Dec. 1: NATO authorizes deploying 60,000 troops to Bosnia; appoints Javier Solana NATO secretary general. • Dec. 4: British, U.S. troops land in former Yugoslavia to begin groundwork for peacekeeping mission. • Dec. 5: Polls show majority of Americans oppose sending troops to Bosnia. • Dec. 12: Bosnian Serbs release captured French pilots. • Dec. 13: Senate defeats measure to cut off funds for U.S. troops in Bosnia. • Dec. 14: Presidents of warring parties sign peace plan, setting stage for deployment of 60,000 NATO troops. • Bosnian, Serb governments agree to formal diplomatic recognition. • Dec. 15: UN Security Council transfers peacekeeping duties to NATO. • Dec. 16: Joulwan issues order for 60,000 NATO troops to enter Bosnia. • Dec. 18: Break in fog allows 14 U.S. flights to arrive in Tuzla. • Dec. 19: Assistant Secretary of State Richard C. Holbrooke, chief American negotiator of the Dayton agreement, announces he’ll step down, be succeeded by career diplomat John Kornblum. • Dec. 20: NATO takes over command of Bosnia peace mission. • Dec. 22: Thousands of Serbs Lice Sarajevo suburbs, many carrying coffins of relatives. • Dec. 24: First American helicopters arrive in Tuzla, while French extend control in Sarajevo. • Dec. 27: Government, rebel Serb troops pull back from area around Sarajevo. • Dec. 31: First U.S. tanks roll across pontoon bridge over Sava.
1996. Jan. 4: Serbs bow to international pressure, free 16 civilians. Italian mili tary engineer injured by sniper in Sarajevo; Italian soldiers return lire to defend him. • Jan. 6: NATO deploys troops, armored vehicles to help keep peace. • Jan. 11: As Sarajevo Serbs torch houses, prepare to flee, their leaders urge American envoy to delay reunification of city. • Jan. 13: President Clinton visits front-line troops in Bosnia, along with Bosnian, Croat and Serb leaders. • Jan. 14: Several thousand Muslim. Croat and Serb troops pull back from confrontation line in British sector, beating deadline by five days. • Jan. 19: Planned prisoner release falls far short of goal, with Croats. Muslims freeing 225 of 900. Serbs renege on promise to release dozens. • Jan. 31: Serb-held Grbavica reattached to Sarajevo with opening of Bridge of Brotherhood and Unity. • Feb. 3: U.S. military sustains first casualty. • Rebel Serbs withdraw forces from Sarajevo suburbs. • Irate Croats surround European Union mission, attack car in response to plan to reunify Mostar. • Feb. 8: Bosnian Serb army breaks off contacts with NATO over detention of suspected war criminals, bans civilians in Serb territory from crossing into federation lands, threatens to arrest Muslims and Croats crossing into Serb territory. • Feb. 18: Leaders at Rome summit agree to reunify Sarajevo and Mostar and to conform to procedures for arresting suspected war criminals. Bosnian Serbs agree to resume contact with NATO. • Feb. 20: Some Bosnian Serb leaders organize mass exodus from suburbs, while moderates urge residents to remain. • Feb. 27: Security Council lifts sanctions against Bosnian Serbs. • Feb. 29: Sarajevo siege officially ends. • March 2: Slobodan Milošević is overwhelmingly re-elected head of Socialist party. • March 9: 20,000 in Belgrade rally against Milošević. • March 11: U.S. Pledges $100 million to rearm Bosnia, draws criticism from European leaders. • March 13: Gangs from Sarajevo terrorize Serb suburbs after handover. • March 14: Top Croatian politicians fly to Sarajevo to discuss federation as NATO, others fear federation is falling apart. • March 19: Sarajevo reunited. • March 23: Bosnian government releases 109 Serb prisoners. • War crimes investigators find human remains and other evidence of mass grave 18 miles from Srebrenica. • April 5: Mass grave in northern Bosnia contains 181 bodies; thought to be Serbs killed by Croats. • April 8: U.S. officials admit Clinton knew of illegal arms shipments from Iran to Bosnia. • April 13: Nations pledge $1.23 billion to rebuild federation-held section of Bosnia. Offer little aid to Bosnian Serbs until suspected war criminals are turned over to tribunal federation work. • Persian Gulf countries to donate $100 million to help with upgrade of Bosnian government forces. • April 18: NATO says all sides miss deadline to pull back weapons and soldiers, despite efforts to comply. • April 26: Pentagon says that even if the NATO-led peace mission in Bosnia ends as scheduled in December, a substantial number of U.S. troops will remain at least until January. • May 15: Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzić fires moderate premier. • May 23: Bosnian Croats and Muslims agree to postpone Mostar elections. • May 29: Yugoslav war crimes tribunal issues its first indictment for Srebrenica massacres. • June 6: Adm. Leighton W. Smith will be replaced as commander of NATO-led troops in Bosnia. NATO-led troops will remain in Bosnia past end of mission on Dec. 20. • September: Elections are held in Bosnia, returning nationalist groups to power in each ethnic region.
1997. Growing frustrated with the pace of change under Rugova’s rule, some Albanians choose violence to force concessions from Belgrade. A shadowy group calling itself the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) emerges. • January: Opposition coalition Zajedno (‘together’) holds marches daily in Belgrade to protest against Milošević‘s failure to recognize election returns. • Patriarch Pavle repeated the Holy Synod’s recent condemnation of the Milošević regime. The Yugoslav army will not oppose the student demonstrators. • Jan. 3: Bosnia’s new government convenes for the first time in Serb-run Lukavica, near Sarajevo. Deputies in the lower house of the Bosnian parliament approves the government and the nomination of the two joint prime ministers, Boro Bosić, a Serb, and Haris Silajdzić, a Muslim. • The Party of Democratic Action (SDA) headed by President Izetbegović, confirms that it received $500,000 from Iran in mid-1996. The LA Times had reported that Iran gave the money for use in the run-up to the September elections. • Spring: OSCE supervises voter registrations throughout Bosnia, registering 2.5 million. • Jan. 4: Kosovo human rights activist Adem Demaci is elected chairman of the Parliamentary Party of Kosovo. Demaci is expected to compete with shadow-state president Ibrahim Rugova in upcoming presidential elections. • Jan. 8: German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel endorses the demands of Serbian opposition group, Zajedno. • Fifty-two of the 160 members of the Serbian Academy of Sciences warns the government to recognize all opposition victories. • Bosnian Serb President Plavsic says in a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that the Bosnian Serbs will not hand over Radovan Karadzić or Ratko Mladić, both of whom are indicted war criminals. • Jan. 27: The UNHCR-sponsored plan to return Muslim families to their home village has suspended because of well-organized mob violence by Serb civilian crowds with the apparent complicity of the Republika Srpska police. • Feb. 5: The Bosnian federal defense minister, Ante Jelavić, and other top defense official met with diplomats from Turkey and Egypt, which are supporting the U.S.-sponsored ‘Train and Equip’ program for the Bosnian military. • Feb. 13: Alija Izetbegović and Haris Silajdzić agree to give the UN police increased powers to control Mostar. • March: Breakdown of law and order in Albania provides a source of weapons for Kosovar guerrilla lighters. • Federal Yugoslavia gets a new government on 20 March, stemming from the 3 November legislative elections. The cabinet appointments reinforce the belief that Milošević is building up the federal government before assuming the federal presidency later in 1997. • July 22: President Plavsić wins a major victory when Bosnia’s constitutional court overrules the cabinet’s objections to her decision to dissolve parliament and call for new elections. • Montenegro’s governing party candidate, Milo Djukanović, insists that the country will continue to be part of federal Yugoslavia, but only as Serbia’s fully equal partner. • War Crimes Tribunal Prosecutor Louise Arbour accepts the Montenegrin prosecutor’s invitation to visit Podgorica. • July 31: OSCE representatives slams Bosnian Serb TV for engaging in propaganda in ‘gross violation’ of the Dayton rules. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel has called on NATO to jam the broadcasts. • August 25: Kiro Gligorov says that all the ethnic Albanian parties in Macedonia want to secede from that state. • August 27: In Doboj, Karadzic’s police retake control of a TV relay tower that Plavsic’s backers had seized the previous day. • Aug. 28: Bosnian Serbs assail SFOR troops and UN police in Brčko, NATO troops fire back with tear gas, then evacuate their personnel. • State Department officials say those Bosnian Serb authorities who harbor war criminals will not receive any financial assistance. • Carlos Westendorp, High Representative in Bosnia, urges UN Security Council to pass a resolution freezing all bank accounts belonging to indicted war criminals and the confiscation of their property. Westendorp also establishes a commission to investigate corruption in ‘the Bosnian government. • September 13-14: Municipal elections are held in Bosnia after being postponed four times. • Winter: Bonn Peace Implementation Council grants the High Representative increased powers to impose decisions in Bosnia and remove obstructionist local officials. • UN removes some of its observers on the border between Albania and Macedonia. All three of its posts are scheduled for closure, as are three of the six on the Serbian border.
1998. January: Moderate democrat Milorad Dodik becomes prime minister of Republika Srpska. • Feb.: Serbians crack down on Kosovar citizens, many of whom begin leaving the province. • March: Rugova and his party appeal to international community — especially the U.S. and EU — to put pressure on Belgrade to end violence in Kosovo. U.S. State Department, Russia, and the EU condemn the violent repressions there. The Albanian parliament asks for NATO presence in the western Balkan region. The KLA announces it will seek revenge on Serbian security forces in villages around Drenica. • March 19: Some 40,000 Kosovars take to the streets of Pristina to protest against Serbian government repression. Hours later, 50,000 Serbs began a counter-protest. • Summer: Almost all Bosnian municipal assemblies outside of Srebrenica have been certified as having complied with the results of the municipal elections. • Milošević sends troops to Kosovo to quash unrest in the province. A guerrilla war breaks out, replacing the passive protests of Albanians until that time. • The initial commitment of SFOR troops to Bosnia was set to expire in mid-1998, but is extended indefinitely. • Sept.: Bosnia’s second round of elections after Dayton take place, mostly resulting in a continuation of the same political trends that marked the 1996 elections. • Oct.: Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Vojislav Seselj launches repression against Serbian radio and TV stations rebroadcasting ‘anti-patriotic’ messages and the programs of Western countries such as Radio Free Europe. • Oct. 12: After repeated threats of NATO air strikes. Milošević agrees at the last minute to a truce calling For the removal of Serbian troops from Kosovo. Despite the agreement between him and Ambassador Holbrooke, fighting continues in the region. • Fall: Some 2,000 unarmed civilians begin arriving in Kosova under a mandate from the OSCE to monitor the uneasy truce. In neighboring Macedonia, a I,700-strong, French-led NATO rapid reaction force begin assembling in order to evacuate the monitors if they ran into danger. • Dec. 23: Ibrahim Rugova said that the Serbian forces “will be able to exterminate [the Kosovars] in the spring in a couple of days if they want to.” Rugova defended his long-standing policy of non-violence.
1999. Jan.: The killing of 45 ethnic Albanians by Serb forces in the town of Racak leads to international pleas for peace once again. • Serb and ethnic Albanian representatives meet at Rambouillet, France to discuss options for peace. Both sides are reluctant to compromise, and the talks break up without a plan in place. • Tribunal Prosecutor Louise Arbour attempts to enter Kosovo to investigate possible war crimes. She is refused entry. • Feb. 23: The terms of a proposed peace agreement for Kosovo are made public. • Mar: Republika Srpska President Nikola Poplasen is dismissed for obstructing implementation of the Dayton Accord. • March 15: Fighting continues in Kosovo, even as a second round of talks gets underway in Paris. • March 18: The ethnic Albanians finally take a step toward peace, signing a deal that calls for interim autonomy and a NATO force of 28,000 to monitor the region. Milošević responds by reiterating Serbian disapproval and the talks are again suspended without an agreement. The Serbs return home under the threat of NATO airstrikes. • March 22: Richard Holbrooke visits Belgrade in a final, unsuccessful attempt to convince Milošević to agree to NATO’s terms. • March 24: NATO begins launching air strikes in an attempt to force Serbia to cease hostilities and allow ethnic Albanian refugees to return to their homes in Kosovo. • Serb troops force thousands of ethnic Albanians out of the town of Djakovica. At least 47 men are believed to have been rounded up and shot. Serb forces are also accused of raping women and destroying many ethnic Albanians’ citizenship papers. • April 14: NATO bombs accidentally hit two convoys of ethnic Albanian refugees being escorted by Serb police. Yugoslav of put the death toll at more than 60. • April 27: The UN and Human Rights Watch report that Serbian troops killed 200-300 men in the village of Meja. Witnesses tell of Serb troops clearing and burning villages, then separating men ages 18 to 65 from their Families and shooting them. • May 2: In Belgrade, Rev. Jesse Jackson succeeds in winning the release of the three American hostages after negotiating with Milošević. • May 5: An Apache helicopter crashes in Albania while on a training mission. • Arbitration panel decides that Brčko will become a neutral community under international supervision, rather than part of Republika Srpska. • International authorities dismiss Bosnian Serb President Nikola Poplasen after he tried to get rid of the pro-Dayton Serb prime minister, Milorad Dodik, who then resigns in protest against the Brčko ruling. • May 6: The first ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo arrives in the US. Hundreds of thousands of Kosovars abandoned their homes, forming a refugee crisis that primarily affected Albania and Macedonia. Western countries offer refuge to some of the 860,000 ethnic Albanians who left Kosovo. • May 7: Three Chinese journalists are killed in Belgrade when NATO accidentally bombs the Chinese Embassy. NATO attributes the mistake to outdated maps. Massive protests erupt in Beijing. • May 13: More than 80 ethnic Albanians are killed and at least 100 are injured when NATO bombs a village believed to have been a Serb military post. NATO claims the victims were being used by Serb troops as human shields. • May 21: NATO again hits an unintended target — a KLA stronghold. • May 27: The UN’s International War Crimes Tribunal formally indicts Milošević and four other Yugoslav officials for crimes against humanity. They are accused of being responsible for the deportation of 740,000 ethnic Albanians from Kosovo this year as well as the murder of more than 340 identified victims. • June 3: Milošević and the Serbian parliament accept a proposal drawn up by representatives from Russia, the EU, and the U.S. • June 9: Yugoslavia and Western nations sign a formal agreement calling for the withdrawal of Serb troops from Kosovo and a subsequent halting of NATO’s air campaign. An international peacekeeping force headed by NATO is to monitor Kosovo and the return of the refugees. Russia’s role in the operation remains ambiguous. • June 10: The UN Security Council approves a resolution that authorizes the plan for peace in Kosovo by a vote of 14-0. China abstains. • June 11: As peacekeeping forces prepare to enter Kosovo, an uninvited Russian convoy also heads to the region. Western of try to figure out how to maintain control over the peace keeping efforts without stirring up further conflict with Russia. • June 28: Patriarch Pavle and other Serbian leaders appeal to the UN secretary-general for better protection by UN peacekeepers, UDR, of the local Serbs in Kosovo. • July: Some 40 world leader and 17 international organizations held a summit in Sarajevo to launch the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe. Bodo Hombach of Germany is appointed by the European Union as coordinator, and will begin his work in Brussels. Serbia will be excluded from this ‘new Balkan order’ as long as Milošević remains in power. • Oct.: In the aftermath of the Kosova war, polls show that 90% of Albanian Kosovars would vote for the pacifist leader Ibrahim Rugova instead of the leaders of the KLA, if an election were held now. • Nov.: Mrs. Plavsić says she agrees with the decision of Carlos Westendorp to oust Nikola Poplasen, her successor, for not respecting the Dayton agreement. • Nov.: Crime statistics show that levels of violence in Kosovo are the same as before the war. But many of the victims are Serbs and the perpetrators are Albanians. • Serbian paramilitaries forced out of Kosovo have moved into Montenegro, some to find a hiding place and some to join the police. • November. Montenegro offers amnesty to those who refused to fight for Milošević in the recent war. • December: Franjo Tudjman dies of cancer. 2000. Stipe Mesić is elected successor to Croatia’s Tudjman. The elections also brought a more liberal government to Croatia. The HDZ has split. • French peacekeepers arrest Bosnian Serb leader Momcilo Krajisnik, who has been indicted for war crimes. • March: Pledges to the Security Pact projects at a meeting in Brussels were much higher than expected — $1.8 billion. • April: Macedonia’s parliament votes to return property expropriated by the Communists over 50 years ago. • Serbian opposition leaders, though feuding among them selves, managed to stage a demonstration in Belgrade with up to 200,000 participants. • President Djukanović of Montenegro is in serious conflict with Milošević and his government has expressed an intention to secede from Yugoslavia. • In Bosnia, the Social Democratic Party (formerly communist) wins victories everywhere except in Republika Srpska, where the recent arrest of Momcilo Krajisnik had infuriated many voters, so that they display their continuing commitment to nationalism. • May: Disaffection is growing in the Serbian army. Some of the military’s ablest troops have left because of deteriorating conditions.