Former Yugoslavia: Is the Violent Past Irreversible?

The dissolution of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was followed by five armed conflicts raging from 1991–2001. Predominantly ethnically based violence took more than 130,000 lives. Thousands suffered in concentration camps and survived sexual violence. Millions were expelled from their homes.

Today, while the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia is nearing the end of its important mission and post-Yugoslav countries are working their ways into the European Union, the relations among states in the region, as well as among ethnic communities within the states, are still very much burdened by the legacy of the violent past. Victims and their families still seek justice, truth, and reparation. Domestic war crimes trials and institutional reforms are still not fully effective, and political elites are reluctant to deal with the heritage of the past.

Sandra Orlović and Mario Mažić, human rights activists from Serbia and Croatia, discuss challenges and prospects of transitional justice in these two countries that have decisive roles in shaping the future of the Western Balkans. The speakers also comment on ICTY’s final decision on the acquittal of Croatian generals Gotovina and Markac, which created strong reactions in both Serbia and Croatia.

Date: November 30, 2012
Time: 12:15 p.m.