HOW MANY PEOPLE DIED IN BOSNIAN WAR?
PHOTO: Bodies of Bosniak children in Sarajevo morgue killed by Serb snipers during the siege of Sarajevo - the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. The siege lasted from April 5, 1992 to February 29, 1996. Credits: Maud S. Beelman, AP foreign correspondent. [Full Size Photo] ↓
- 200,000 is accurate figure, but...
The figure of 200,000 dead, injured, and missing was frequently cited by human rights organizations and media reports after the war. The figure was based on a research done by UN's expert commission investigating war crimes in the former Yugoslavia . The report was issued at the end of 1994. The team of experts was headed by Cherif Bassouni. The figure can be reasonably assumed to be accurate because it included not only killed, but also injured and missing (even today, there are at least 10,000 people missing people and tens of thousands of disabled).
- Ministry of Public Health
The figure of 200,000 dead, injured and missing is also supported by the data from the Bosnian Institute for Public Health which lists 146,340 people of all ethnicities as killed and 174,914 wounded on a territory defended by the Bosnian Army (ARBiH) and Croatian Defence Council (HVO).
- Unclassified CIA Memorandum
A November 1995 unclassified CIA memorandum revealed that the number of civilian deaths is 156,500, not including the victims of the Srebrenica genocide who were listed as missing in 1995. The CIA memorandum put the figure for military deaths at 81,500 troops killed with the following breakdown: 45,000 Bosnian government (ARBiH), 6,500 Bosnian Croat (HVO); and 30,000 Bosnian Serb (VRS).
- Vladimir Zerjavic
According to the research conducted by Vladimir Zerjavic - Croatian economist and a United Nations expert - there were 220,000 victims in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Bosnian war, of which 160,000 were Bosniaks, 30,000 Croats and 25,000 Serbs.
* [Side note: Zerjavic is a highly respected historian who debunked the myth of Jasenovac in which Serbian distortionists - many of them Srebrenica genocide deniers (eg. Dr. Milan Bulajic) - claimed that '700,000 Serbs died' in Jasenovac in World War II. However, according to the United States Holocaust Museum, "The Ustasa regime murdered between 56,000 and 97,000 people in Jasenovac between 1941 and 1945..." and the figure includes the victims of all nationalities, including Bosniaks and Croats.]
- Prof. Mustafa Imamovic
According to Prof. Mustafa Imamovic's research, 144,248 people perished in the Bosnian war. The figure also includes those who died from indirect causes, like hunger, exposure, and suicide.
- Hague Tribunal / ICTY
Research done by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and released in 2004 puts the figure of 102,622 people killed during the Bosnian war. The figure does not represent a total number of killed people.
- Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo
According to the Research and Documentation Center at least 97,207 people were directly killed during the Bosnian war. Of those, about 60 percent were soldiers and 40 percent civilians. The international team of experts (including ICTYs Ewa Tabeau) evaluated the results of the research favorably, but warned that "this number should be seen as an approximation of a minimum and not as the complete total." Some 65 percent of those killed were Bosniaks, followed by 25 percent Serbs and more than 8 percent Croats. However, 83 percent of civilian victims were Bosniaks, 10 percent were Serbs and more than 5 percent were Croats, followed by a small number of others such as Albanians or Romani people. The research also includes names of 3,372 children who were killed during the war. The number of Bosniak civilian victims would be higher had many families of the Srebrenica victims not asked that their family members be buried as soldiers - the most common reason being access to social support for surviving families.
* Indirect Deaths (ongoing project)
The Research and Documentation Center (RDC) has begun the second stage of its project Human Losses in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1991-1995. In the first phase of the project, the RDC researched human casualties caused directly by war activities, while the second research phase will focus on indirect victims of the war. "The category of indirect victims includes all civilians and military personnel (women, children, men, religious officers, medicial personnel, journalists, patients) who died after mishandling weapons, from hunger, from a lack of access to medical care or lack of medicines, from freezing, and so on." The project is expected to be concluded by January 2010. More info at this link.