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Bosnia-Herzegovina Web
Site Reviews

By James Nelson, Cold Spring Harbor
High School, New York

[ Map of Bosnia-Herzegovina ]

CNN's Bosnia Page

CNN's Bosnia page is a very well thought out and complete Web site. It contains a thorough history of the Balkan conflict. It also features daily updates concerning the troubles in Bosnia, a recent events time line, reader feedback, and an expert analysis section. The Images of War section displays unnerving visual portrayals of one of the world's most bloody conflicts. The site even provides a search mechanism that sifts through CNN's vast Bosnia-related archives, to find the exact information you're looking for.

The site also explains the deep-rooted causes of the conflict in the Balkans. It addresses the Croats' association with the Nazis, and the Serbs' ensuing call to arms. After Serb forces drove the Nazis from what is now Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, a leader of the Nazi resistance, was elected as leader. He was a strong and harsh ruler, and his methods kept ethnic rivalries suppressed. As the iron fist of the Soviet Union crumbled, the "federation" of Yugoslavia's republics disintegrated, and ethnic rivalries resurfaced.

This site gives a brief summary of all these events, and many others. It is a graphic-intensive and user friendly site. It not only delivers accurate information, but also keeps the reader interested.

Bosnia and East Timor

This Web site, focusing on Bosnia, and with additional information on East Timor, is for those interested in raw information. It is a very text-intensive site, containing almost no images. It features interviews with a multitude of experts and individuals involved in the conflict.

One highlight of this site is its sections pertaining to East Timor, which is an area of conflict that is less often in the media spotlight. As a matter of fact, the East Timor section even provides an explanation of the media's treatment of the 1991 slaughter in East Timor. The site also contains links to sites on East Timor women's issues; maps of East Timor; and, other helpful tools. Perhaps the most interesting and helpful aspect of this site is its archive of East Timor weekly international news summaries. This contains links to weekly East Timor new summaries, for all weeks from 1995 to 1997. On top of all this, the site provides a brief history of the crisis in East Timor and links to the few other East-Timor-related Web sites, the best of which is TimorNet.

CNN's Mission: Peace

CNN's Mission: Peace Web site contains many useful links to various sites directly and indirectly related to the crisis in Bosnia. It provides access to CNN's frequently updated news database. This allows the user to read recent articles written by CNN journalists.

It also has links to on-line newsgroups that pertain to events in Bosnia. These newsgroups are essentially a forum for people interested, or involved, in the conflict to share information. They contain ongoing discussions relating to the Balkan conflict. They allow the user to post responses to messages, or simply to read other people's responses. General questions can be posted, and usually will be responded to by more than enough accurate answers.

Reports on War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia

This site contains a series of reports on war crimes committed in Bosnia between September of 1992 and late 1993. The reports are very detailed, each describing explicitly the physical and mental abuse victims were forced to undergo. The site also contains information on trials against war criminals. It gives detailed accounts of the accused, the actual crime committed, and, in many cases, tells the victim's story. For example, one page takes the reader through the day-to-day life of a fifteen-year-old Muslim girl in a "rape camp."

One of the most shocking sections of this site has to be the articles documenting NATO's refusal to arrest the indicted ringleaders of the Foca rape camps. According to these documents, NATO troops were in the presence of Gojko Jancovic, a man accused of mass rape by the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, and failed to arrest him. The actions of the NATO troops, or lack thereof, were in contradiction of the Geneva Convention's legal obligation "to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed...grave breaches."

Other Balkan Resources

This site is appropriately named. It is simply a list of Web sites related to the Balkan conflict. In and of itself, it contains no information, but the sites to which it is linked are very informative. Through this site, a reader is able to browse various newsgroups, Bosnia-related archives supplied by universities, and even the BosNet mailing list. Some links are inactive, such as the link for Ljiljan, a weekly newspaper from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The site also provides access to the Women for Women in Bosnia humanitarian organization, which provides aid to Bosnian women whose lives have been devastated. Their organization allows concerned people to aid such women monetarily or through support and friendship.

These Web sites are very good resources for students and teachers.

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