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The Legacy of Nuremberg  |   Imposing Justice from the Hague  |   Rwanda's Revolutionary Justice

Photo: Gilles Peress, courtesy of the Human Rights Center, University of California, Berkeley

Ethnic Cleansing in Ahmici
Photographer Gilles Peress documented one of the worst incidents of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. On April 16, 1993, in the village of Ahmici, over 100 Muslims were massacred. British UN peacekeeping troops arrived shortly afterwards.

Civil War in Bosnia-Hercegovina

KEY TERMS View all terms
Crimes Against Humanity
Ethnic Cleansing
International Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia (ICTY)
Lasva River Valley
Victor's Justice
War Crimes

Imposing Justice from the Hague

Click on italic words for definitions

The close of the Cold War saw a wave of new conflicts around the globe. These were not the battles of nation-states like in the First and Second World Wars, but civil conflicts and violence among ethnic groups. In Europe, the collapse of Yugoslavia quickly descended into slaughter. Civilian massacres, concentration camps and the newly-termed "ethnic cleansing" evoked the Nazi era. The United Nations looked to the historic trials at Nuremberg for a solution. In 1993, the UN created a tribunal (the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ) to prosecute genocide and other crimes against humanity in the Balkans. This new court was based in The Hague, far from the killing fields in the former Yugoslavia. At this distance, officials hoped the court would be seen as fair, even to those being prosecuted, and that justice would overcome cycles of violence in which neighbor killed neighbor.

Next: Showdown in Courtroom Two

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