by Ajla Delkic: “This month marked the 26th anniversary of the referendum that started independence for Bosnia and Herzegovina from the now-dissolved Yugoslavia. The ensuing war of aggression left more than 100,000 dead, millions displaced and over 20,000 predominantly Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) women and girls victims of sexual violence. Ultimately, it was the U.S.-led NATO military intervention that stopped the genocide and ethnic cleansing against Bosnia’s non-Serb population and got the parties to the negotiating table.

The war officially ended with the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, which divided Bosnia into two entities — the Federation and Republika Srpska (RS) — and gave the newly independent Bosnia a complex system of governance that rewards ethnic-based politics.

Despite its shortcomings, the U.S.-brokered peace agreement did put an end to the war, saving countless lives. NATO’s relationship with Bosnia evolved from that of peacekeeping to partnership. Since 2009, Bosnia has contributed to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan under U.S. command, as well as the U.S. coalition against ISIS by donating more than 550 tons of arms and ammunition.” (Full Article – The Hill)