Yugoslavia was constructed as a multi-ethnic federation by communist leader Marshall Tito in 1945. It was made up of six ethnically diverse republics; Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia and semi-autonomous Kosovo. After Tito’s death in 1980, bitter inter-ethnic rivalries asserted themselves and there were clashes between different ethnic groups, such as the Kosovan Albanians and Serbs. There was a rise in Serbian para-militarism and heightened tension between the Muslim Bosnians, the Croats and the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina. By 1990, the Serbian-controlled Federal government refused to agree to Croatia and Slovenia’s demands for a multiparty government. Both republics declared independence in 1991, followed by Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia. The Serbians within these new states called upon the Yugoslav Army (under the command of the the Serbian-controlled Federal government) for support. This was the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars, rapidly becoming genocidal under the Serbian leader, Radovan Karadžić.
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