A Model of War Crimes Perpetrated During the Bosnian Conflict

Katrina Fritzon, University of Surrey

The recognition by the European Community and the United States of Bosnian independence from the former Yugoslavia on April 6, 1992, was followed one week later by an order by the Bosnian Serb government for mobilisation for war. Between April 1992 and December 1992, thousands of Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serbs were seized by Serb forces and transferred to camps and detention afacilities. There, a number of these individuals wre subjected to acts of degradation, torture and inhumane treatment, and as a result several members of the Army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina have been recently indicted by the International criminal tribunal for the former Yuugoslavia. This paper presents the results of an analysis of the official transcripts of these hearings. Content analysis of the transcripts yielded information on a number of specific acts either directly committed, or ordered by officers of the above army. These variables were subjected to Smallest Space Analysis, which provided a visual representation of the inter-correlations among items. The analysis revealed a structure inherent in these acts which has many parallels with work on the crime-scene behaviour of serial killers (e.g. Lundrigan, 2000). A model of war crimes committed during the Bosnian conflict is presented in which the role of the victim and nature of the aggression perpetrated appears to be a key factor in explaining crimes against humanity.

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Updated 05/20/2006