Ethnic Tensions in Serbia

Human Security in Context Reports Serbia

Ethnic tensions have been the main security concern in the Western Balkan region for the past couple of decades. During the 1990s, these tensions were at the forefront of both the war in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo, which in the end claimed countless lives and the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. Since then, peacekeeping initiatives, numerous conventions, development strategies, EU integration, democratic reform, and many other initiatives, have all had the aim to stabilize the region and to prevent new ethnic clashes. Overall it can be said that these initiatives have been successful. For instance, just recently, on the 19th of April 2013, Kosovo and Serbia signed a historic agreement regarding the territorial and political sovereignty of Kosovo. Although the subject itself is a source of controversy and dispute, the latest agreement was made without large-scale ethnic conflicts or direct violent altercations.1 While this shows some progress in terms of dealing with ethnically charged disputes, ethnic tensions in the region are not solved. Ethnically based violence, ethnic tensions and threats of violence during symbolic events, upsurges of fascist groups and hooliganism, hate speech, and more, are just some example of how ethnic tensions are manifested.

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Serbia Chronicle 2 – Ethnic Tensions in Serbia