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The conflict in the Balkans is interesting because for years reporters and politicians have touted it as being the result of ancient ethnic hatred but that isnt the case This class has taught me if nothing else that the people of this region lived together peacefully for centuries and any conflicts that have arose among people were based not on ethnic origin but other things like class ruling party and so on In fact any problems that have arose in the former Yugoslavia have more to do with the issues raised by nationalism that developed during World War II and not centuries of three different peoples living together Additionally I am going to pause every so often to show that at each of the three distinct points of the conflict the international community and the United States had it within their power to stop the violence The three distinct phases are Kosovo secession and Bosnia and at each point the lack of action or overreaction of the international community failed to solve the problems that these institutions had within their power to resolve The first phase of Yugoslavian disintegration can be attributed to the conditions of the people living in Kosovo an autonomous province of Yugoslavia In 1981 the socioeconomic conditions in Kosovo were far worse than those in the other republics of Yugoslavia Poverty was rampant and unemployment was around twenty percent as compared to about two percent in Slovenia that same year The standard of living in Kosovo was deplorable and whatever aid that was given to the province by the federal government was mismanaged Samary 65 Another significant problem with this particular province was that while the Serbs claimed the province as the Cradle of Serbian Empire because of a legendary battle and defeat that happened at Kosovo in 1389 the Albanians constituted approximately eighty percent of the population of Kosovo In reality Kosovo could be claimed more by the Albanian majority
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