In 1990-91 Croatia and Slovenia declare their independence from the Yugoslav Federated Republic. In Croatia, Serbs and Croats begin a long, bloody conflict. UN imposes arms embargo on all members of the former Yugoslav Republic, including Bosnia.
After this dissolution, what is left of Yugoslavia quickly unravels. Multiethnic and territorial issues come to the forefront between the remaining three factions in Bosnia-Herzegovina. These factions were made up of the Bosniaks, Serbians and Croatians.
Many Bosniaks and Croats believe that the conflict was a war of Serbian and Croatian aggression, while most Serbs believe it was a civil war. Bosniaks are predominately Muslim, while Serbs are Eastern Orthodox, and Croats are mostly Roman Catholic. At the time the war started in March of 1992, Bosniaks consisted of only 43% of Bosnia, while Serbs accounted of 31% of the population and Croats 17%.
Something about no water/waiting in lines...
Serb snipers fire on demonstrators in Sarajevo. Bosnian Serb soldiers are formally discharged from the Yugoslav army. This marks the beginning of the Siege.
Bosnian Serbs form blockade around Sarajevo, cutting off access to all major roads and airports. Food and medicine and other relief supplies are cut off as well as utilities including water, heat and electricity. Serbs begin concentrating on constant shelling of the city from over 200 positions in the surrounding mountainside.
An artillery shell hits a crowded marketplace on the western edge of Sarajevo killing 15 people and wounding 100 more.
Serbs now have control of major positions inside the city and have begun continually sniping the civilians. “Sniper alleys” emerge in major streets where people must venture to get water, food and access to the airport.
An average of 329 shells hit Sarajevo daily throughout the siege, destroying 35,000 buildings including hospitals, government buildings and the National Library, which was set on fire and burned to the ground.
Twelve people killed waiting in line for water.
3,777 shells hit Sarajevo.
By September it was estimated that every building in Sarajevo had been damaged by the shelling.
Markale Market Bombing
February 5th- First Markale Marketplace Massacre
68 civilians killed and 200 wounded made for the largest loss of life in the during the siege.
UN Launches first air-strikes against Serb targets around the city and issues ultimatum demanding Serbs remove heavy weapons from around Sarajevo.
Sarajevo has first casualty free day in 22 months.
Serbs injure Ukrainian peace keeper and UN requests NATO air attack.
UN again requests NATO air attack in the Sarajevo area after Serbs attacked a French armored personnel carrier.
Serbs attack UN ammunition depot, stealing artillery and
begin using UN weaponry against Sarajevo. As a result,
NATO is ordered to strike a Serbian ammunition storage site.
Serbians then kidnap 377 UN hostages and use them as
human shields, effectively stopping NATO air strikes for the
August 28th- Second Markale Marketplace Bombing
Serbs again shell the Markale market place killing 37 and
wounding 90 people. As retaliation NATO and UN begin air
strikes once again.
NATO and UN demand end of the siege and removal of Serbian
weapons from around UN designated safe zones by the 4th.
NATO and UN air strikes resume on September 5th when
Serbians do not retreat. Air strikes are suspended on the 14th to allow Serbians to retreat by the 20th. This time the Serbians comply.
Serbians slowly driven out of Sarajevo, utilities are restored, a lasting ceasefire is declared.
Dayton Agreement is signed bringing peace and stabilization to the broken country.
The besieged population comprised not only Bosniaks and Croats, but also Serbs that had remained in the town and who were killed by fire from the besieging VRS forces. The 1991 census indicates that before the siege the city and its surrounding areas had a population of 525,980. There are estimates that prior to the siege the population in the city proper was 435,000. Estimates of the current population range between 300,000 and 380,000. A large number of Sarajevans were killed or wounded throughout the siege. In 1994, a report filed on the total number of deaths over a span of 315 days concluded that 2,474 persons died, with an average of approximately eight killed in the city per day. A report on the total number of persons wounded over a span of 306 days concluded that 13,472 were wounded, an average of approximately 44 per day. This same report estimated the number of people killed or missing in the city to be nearly 10,000, including over 1,500 children. An additional 56,000 people were wounded, including nearly 15,000 children.