The Truth About the Serbo-Croatian Conflict

Editor’s Note:
This document is included in Science for Peace Bulletin because it appears to be an even-handed attempt to explain current tragic events in Yugoslavia from a historical standpoint, to defuse the bipartisan rhetoric that frequently confuses not only strangers, but also many of those actually caught up in the dispute. Such evaluations are important contributions to the settlement of violent conflicts. However, it must surely be confessed that the Yugoslav situation presents those of the international community, who would like a just and peaceful solution, with an enormous problem of how such a solution can be obtained. Questions of national sovereignty and the legitimacy of governments must come in for tortured scrutiny here and this is one of those many cases where no international peacekeeping body with legally-recognized standing appears to have the grounds for a lawful intervention. Even if it had such grounds, it is clear that here — as in Northern Ireland — the ingrained nature of the mutual societal mistrusts and immensely powerful political and pseudo-ethnic prejudices, would make imposition of peace and security by an outside body exquisitely difficult.
An extended, more comprehensive version of Andrew Pakula’s article is in the November-December 1991 issue of Peace Magazine.

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