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About Peter Lippman
Peter Lippman is a writer and human-rights activist from the United States who has worked extensively in Bosnia and much of ex-Yugoslavia. He is a contributor to (among others) the resource site Balkan Witness, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Americans for Bosnia, and the Advocacy Project
Articles by Peter Lippman
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Between October and December 2007, Bosnia has experienced a startling roller-coaster of events. A governmental crisis that sparked fears of war led to a completely unexpected rapprochement among bitterly divided nationalist parties. The first few months of 2008 will show whether or not Bosnia has finally achieved a breakthrough in its built-in, long-term political stalemate.
Due to the unwieldy political structure that was cobbled together as part of the Dayton peace agreement of November 1995, the Bosnian government comes to a standstill on a near-annual basis. The Dayton accord ended a devastating war that lasted from early 1992 to the end of 1995. The new Dayton constitution recognised two autonomous "entities" formed during the war: a Serb-controlled Republika Srpska (RS), and a Croat- and Muslim-controlled Federation. Many of the leaders of these entities were the very same officials who had prosecuted the three-way war. Where these leaders have departed, new figures who inherited the wartime separatist agenda have taken over.
Serbs' endorsement of a constitution reaffirming sovereignty over Kosovo casts a further shadow over the "final status" of the contested territory. Peter Lippman, recently in Pristina, maps one of Europe's most intractable disputes.
The Serb massacre of around 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in July 1995 remains agony to the survivors, professional challenge to lawyers and scientists, and a source of political polarisation among Bosnians and Serbs, reports Peter Lippman.
The discovery of a mass grave in August 2006 near Zvornik in eastern Bosnia containing the remains of 1,150 Bosnian victims of the Srebrenica massacre is only the most recent evidence of the scale of the atrocity per