War in the Balkans

Courtesy Reuters

In late June 1991 Yugoslav army tanks rolled into the newly declared Republic of Slovenia, igniting a war long feared among the peoples of Yugoslavia. Now, more than a year later, the war has resulted in some 50,000 deaths (mostly civilians), more than two million homeless and as much as $60 billion in property damage. Numerous Croatian, Serbian and Muslim villages have disappeared from the map in the fighting, with what was once the thriving city of Vukovar, population 45,000, reduced to rubble. The Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, the city where World War I began, was placed under siege by Serbian forces in March, and in the daily bombardments that have followed, the unique cultural blend that gave Sarajevo a special charm has been extinguished, probably forever.

The war is increasingly being felt beyond the borders of what was once Yugoslavia. Austria and Hungary, Croatia’s neighbors to the north, have taken in about 50,000

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