Former Yugoslavia: the weight of an obstinate past

A combination of political, economic and cultural factors added to religious and ethnic tensions led to the breakout of war after the fall of Communism in the former Yugoslavia, in 1991, at the end of the "cold war", and affected all six republics that made it up. The war was one of the bloodiest conflicts on European soil since the end of World War II, which the international community failed to contain in time and which continued until 2001.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, established by the United Nations Security Council, was constituted in 1993 to try those responsible for serious violations of international human rights, genocide or crimes against humanity.

Today, 19 years after the Dayton peace agreements which supposedly put an end to the Bosnian War, Serbia still refuses to recognise Kosovo, and the Bosnia-Herzegovina division remains in place, with two different entities: one for Muslims and Croats and the other for Serbs. The peoples involved in the Balkan War still struggle to recover, reconcile and live together in a setting where the all too recent past still carries a great deal of weight. A past which, without justice, truth and repair, may raise its ugly head once again and re-open the wounds.

Film: Circles

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