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Synopsis

Based on the author's experiences as an EC Monitoring Mission Observer, this narrative account of the civil war in the former Yugoslavia combines material from a range of eyewitness and documentary sources. Brendan O'Shea had access to both EU and UN official documents for his research and used these to unravel the complex story of the war. The author tells the tragic story of what happened at the 'safe haven' at Bihac in north-western Bosnia between 1992 and 1996 to show the Bosnian civil war in microcosm. At Bihac, Muslim fought all variety of Serb, Muslim fought Muslim and the Croats interfered continually - thereby ensuring a rapid descent into bitter civil war and a vindictive power struggle. 'Ethnic cleansing' was rife and horrific war crimes which shocked the world were committed by all sides. Local politicians manipulated the desperate refugee situation in order to extract concessions, humanitarian aid and considerable sums of money from the UN and other agencies, and then siphoned off huge quantities to pay for military arms and equipment. O'Shea reveals how the generals manipulated all agencies who came to assist them to ensure their own military and political advancement. Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic, and Slobodan Milosevic are still names that stick horribly in the memory. As every party to the Bosnian tragedy promoted their own versions of events as 'the truth', O'Shea revealed the numerous layers of deceit and dishonesty. He has brought the story up-to-date for this edition.

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