Bosnia Glossary

Glossary & Who's Who

Chetniks: Derisive term for Serb nationalists used by some Croats, Moslems and liberal Serbs to denote extremism. The term refers to a Serb nationalist movement founded in the 19th century.

Dayton Peace Accords: U.S.-brokered treaty initialed in Ohio in November 1995 and signed the next month in Paris, ending the war in the former Yugoslavia, formalizing Bosnia and Herzegovina's division into ethnic states that include a Bosnian Federation (of Muslims and Croats) and a Serbian Republic, and enforcing the end of hostilities with 60,000 NATO troops including 20,000 Americans. Included is a provision to provide safe passage or a right of return to those expelled from their homes.

Richard C. Holbrooke: Former Assistant Secretary of State, the United Statesí chief negotiator responsible for the Dayton peace plan.

HVO: Translated, the Croatian Defense Council (the army of the Bosnian Croats).

IFOR: Implementation Force, the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia created under the Dayton accords.

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia: Convened in The Hague by the United Nations Security Council in May 1993 to prosecute serious violations of international humanitarian law in the former Yugoslavia. The tribunal has indicted 57 suspects -- 46 Serbs, 8 Croats and 3 Muslims. It is the first such trial since those following World War II in Nuremberg and Tokyo. There are 11 judges, all from different countries, including Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald of Texas. Unlike the tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo, this one is not permitted to hand out death sentences and may not try suspects in absentia. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

IPTF: International Police Task Force, established by the United Nations, charged with reporting human rights violations to the war crimes tribunal.

Alija Izetbegovic: First and current president of Bosnia and Herzegovina and leader of the Muslim Party for Democratic Action.

Radovan Karadzic: President of the Bosnian Serb Republic, indicted by the war crimes tribunal for human rights violations in connection with the deaths of thousands of Muslims in Srebrenica in July 1995 and the shelling of civilians in the siege of Sarajevo.

Knin: Croatian rail and telecommunications hub. This city, at the center of the former Serbian enclave within Croatia, is known to Serbs as the Krajina, and was seized by them early in the war. Croatians were expelled and the region was occupied by the Serbs until a devastating Croatian military rout in August 1995.

Slobodan Milosovic: President of Serbia, proponent of Serb nationalism, key engineer of the Serbian split with Croatia and Slovenia in 1990, possible target of Bosnian charge of genocide in the war crimes tribunal.

Ratko Mladic: Commander of Bosnian Serb army, indicted by the war crimes tribunal on charges of directing military attacks against the Muslim civilians of Srebrenica and Sarajevo.

Pale: Capital of the Bosnian Serb Republic, former ski resort.

Partisans: The army Tito led to victory, composed of Communist guerillas drawn from a wide spectrum of Balkan ethnic groups, but dominated by Serbs and Montenegrins.

Sarajevo: The capital of Bosnia. A center of arts and education under relentless siege by Bosnian Serb forces throughout the war, until the advent of the Dayton accords. Before the war, Serbian, Muslim, Jewish and Croatian Bosnians lived together in Sarajevo in peace. It was the site of the 1984 Winter Olympics and the scene of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that set off World War I.

Serb Republic: The Serbian state within Bosnia. Pale is its capital. Serbs within Bosnia and Herzegovina separated from Croatian and Muslim enclaves and declared their own republic in the spring of 1992 with the ostensible purpose of fulfilling a historical dream of linking with the Serbian-dominated rump Yugoslavia and creating a Greater Serbia. The Dayton accords formally recognize the republic, also known as Srpska.

Srebenica: One of many towns and cities designated as by the United Nations as "safe areas" that came to symbolize the ineffectuality of United Nations protection during the war in the former Yugoslavia. It was conquered by Bosnian Serbs in the summer of 1995.

Dusan Tadic: A 40-year-old Serbian policeman who is the first to be brought to trial by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. He is charged with 31 counts, including crimes against humanity, that involve the persecution, killing and torture of Muslims in and around Serbian-run prison camps in 1992.

Josip Broz Tito: Originally famed for World War I military valor, Tito was the heroic leader of Partisans against totalitarian Ustashi, Chetniks and Axis powers in Yugoslavia during World War II. He was the chief architect and leader of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, delicately balancing the region's national rivalries until his death in 1980.

Franjo Tudjman: President of Croatia. Generally regarded as a nationalist. He has allowed symbols of Croatia's fascist past to re-emerge.

UNHCR: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the lead U.N. agency responsible for humanitarian assistance in Bosnia and the region. It has prime responsibility for logistics and transport, food monitoring, domestic needs, shelter, community services, health, emergency transition activities in agriculture and income-generation, protection and legal assistance, and assistance to other agencies.

Unprofor: The United Nations Protection Force (in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), now present to enforce Dayton peace accords.

Ustashe: Croatian Fascist movement, dominant in World War II. The term is used to denigrate present-day Croatian extremists.

Vance-Owen Peace Plan: The International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, based in Geneva in August 1992, and chaired by Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen, included the leaders of the three sides within Bosnia -- the Serbs, Muslims and Croats -- as well as the six republics of the former Yugoslavia, the military commanders, the United Nations, and the governments of the European Community, the United States and Russia in coordination with the United Nations. The Vance-Owen peace plan divided Bosnia and Herzegovina into 10 cantons or provinces and abortively proposed using Unprofor to enforce peace.

Sources: "The Fall of Yugoslavia" by Misha Glenny; "Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Tradition Betrayed," by Robert J. Donia and John V.A. Fine Jr.; The New York Times; Cable News Network.