Ten pointers toward a peace process in Ex-Yugoslavia

By Johan Galtung

July 7, 1993

1. A Conference on Security and Cooperation in Southeast Europe, CSCSEE, UN and OSCE sponsored, modeled on Helsinki, in addition to the London/Geneva conference.  All concerned parties (also sub-, super- and non-state) to be invited, with all relevant themes on the agenda; possibly lasting 3-5 years.  Outsiders to the region should be present as observers with right to speak, there being no disinterested outside states. A possible long term goal: A Southeast European Confederation.

2. CSCSEE Working Groups on priority areas to consider:
– Bosnia-Herzegovina as a tri- or bi-partite confederation; with the right to self-determination after some time.
– Kosovo/a s a bipartite confederation with the right of self-determination after some tim, respecting Serbian history;
– Macedonia: a Macedonian confederation should not be ruled out, but can only emerge within a broader setting ([1]) above.
– ex-Yugoslavia: as long-term goal, a confederation this time.

3. Increase UNPROFOR by an order of 10+, with 50% women, creating a dense blue carpet to supervise truces and stabilize the situation. Soldiers must be adequately briefed and trained as conflict facilitators, working with possible civilian peacekeeping components.  Avoid big power participation. [Read more…]

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Germany, the EU and former Yugoslavia

By Johan Galtung
Presumably mid-1993

Germany, meaning here the former foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher (and behind him the chancellor, Helmut Kohl and Alois Mock from Austria), was the key player responsible for the recognition of Croatia and Slovenia on 15 January 1992 (but actually agreed upon 16 December 1991), and of Bosnia-Herzegovina 6 April 1992.

There were clear warnings. [Read more…]

Non-violence and Ex-Yugoslavia

By Johan Galtung

Written early 1992

To talk about nonviolence in ex-Yugoslavia may sound like a morbid joke given the atrocities committed by all parties in this process of collective suicide of the Yugoslav peoples, in their search for alternatives they hope will meet their goals. And yet much can be done. To mention only five points:

– Let 1000 conferences blossom all over, there is so much hope and effort, but the focus is only on one conference, right now in Geneva, between those who carry violence rather than peace. How can all such initiatives flow together?

– Start a Helsinki process in Southeast Europe, modeled on the successful Helsinki conference 1972-75 with all participants around the table (including neighboring states) and all issues on the table (including big power interests);

– Educate the media to pay more attention to peace efforts, much of which is carried out by women and hence likely to be under-reported by male journalists; [Read more…]

Reflections on the prospects of peace for Yugoslavia

By Johan Galtung

Yugoslavia Conference, OIFF, Stadtschlaining, 13-17 November 1991

1.  Conflict genesis; conflict processes, conflict perception

To see bombs fall on Dubrovnik and the presidential palace in Zagreb, to see Vukovar and Osijek in ruins, is to see ourselves as the Europeans we are: aggressive, unable to handle conflict in a mature manner, destroying some of the best in ourselves. For one who lived over a period of four years (1973-1977) in Dubrovnik as the first Director-General of the Inter-University Centre this holds no surprise.  The tension was there all the time.  The emotions are centuries deep.  But that in no way diminishes the tragedy, and does not explain why Yugoslavia had a generation of relative peace.

There were many reasons: the function of Italian fascism, and particularly of German Nazism as common enemy strong enough to bridge the many gaps, of which the Serb-Croat gap may be the broadest; the charismatic leadership of Tito the Croat; the myth, and reality, of the partizan movement as all-Yugoslav in spite of the strong Croat leanings toward Italy-Hungary and Austria-Germany. The idea of building a New Man through a Third Way socialism, including samo upravljenje, the self-management which in principle was a gigantic decentralization effort, decreasingly credible, was also used to transcend these gaps.  So was nonalignment as foreign policy, building links to all countries. [Read more…]