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  • Publication Date: 06-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 1 July 1997 Konjic became the first municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) to be officially recognised as an Open City by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). At the time, the Open Cities Initiative was supposed to form the backbone of UNHCR's approach to minority return. To obtain Open City status Konjic had to demonstrate a willingness to accept the return of minority displaced persons. In return, the UNHCR endeavoured to reward the municipality with additional funding. However, despite large-scale financial assistance and although close to 2,000 minority families have formally registered their intent to return, reliable sources estimate that fewer than 300 minority returnees have made their way home to Konjic since the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) brought the Bosnian war to a halt.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 06-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Croat-controlled Jajce and Bosniac-controlled Travnik are both municipalities to which displaced persons who do not belong to the majority ethnic group have been returning in substantial numbers. Some 5,000 Bosniacs have returned to Jajce (prewar population, 44,900) and 2,500 Croats have returned to Travnik (pre-war population, 70,400) since the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) came into force. These 7,500 “minority returns” constitute nearly 20 per cent of the total estimated 40,000 minority returns throughout the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), although the combined current populations of Jajce and Travnik (less than 75,000) account for less than 3 percent of the Federation's current population. These two municipalities in the Middle Bosnia Canton thus may be considered successful examples of minority return, if not yet reintegration. Nevertheless, at different times and to varying degrees, the authorities in Jajce and Travnik have obstructed return movements.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Migration, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: When on 15 May 1998 Slobodan Milosevic met with Ibrahim Rugova it was the first time that the Yugoslav president had met with an Albanian leader from Kosovo in close to a decade. The event, heralding weekly talks between Kosovo's Albanians and the Serbian government, has thus been hailed as a "dramatic turn-about" and "a first step toward peace in Kosovo". However, the fact that, after so many years of stale-mate, some kind of negotiations have begun, should not in itself be a reason for euphoria. Key to the success of any talks is the framework within which they take place. Negotiations concerning the future status of Kosovo may, as a result of the concessions offered to the Yugoslav president, have got off to an inauspicious start.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Kosovo, an impoverished region at the southern tip of Serbia, is drawing ineluctably closer to war with each passing day. By night, men smuggle guns and ammunition from Albania to an Albanian militia determined to wrest Kosovo away from Serbia. The militia's fighters, angered by years of Serbian police violence against Kosovo's 90-percent Albanian majority, have killed Serbian police officers and murdered Albanians deemed to be loyal to the Serbian state.
  • Topic: Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 01-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In Bosnia's local elections on 13 and 14 September 1997, parties representing displaced Serbs from Croat-held Drvar, Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoc won either a majority or a plurality of council seats in these three municipalities in Canton 10 of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since then, displaced Serbs have begun spontaneously moving back to their homes with the result that by mid-January, some 800 heads of households had returned to Drvar alone. Other displaced Serbs in Western Republika Srpska and in Brcko are monitoring the fortunes of these returnees closely. If Serbs are able to return to Drvar, this will free up housing in Republika Srpska for displaced Bosniacs and Croats. If, however, their return to Drvar is obstructed, displaced Serbs elsewhere will be discouraged from attempting to return to other Federation municipalities.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe