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How Diplomacy Forged The Dayton Accords That Ended The Bosnian War

Leaders of six other nations look on as the presidents of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia sign the Dayton Accords at the Elysee Palace in France. (Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Leaders of six other nations look on as the presidents of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia sign the Dayton Accords at the Elysee Palace in France. (Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

This fall marks the 25th anniversary of the Dayton Accords — the peace agreement that ended a bloody ethnic war among the Serbs, Croats and Muslims. The war reached its peak with the worst massacre in Europe since World War II when the Bosnian Serb Army murdered thousands of Bosniak Muslim men and boys in what was supposed to be a United Nations safe haven in the town of Srebrenica.

The Srebrenica massacre happened in July of 1995 and sparked  former President Bill Clinton and NATO to launch a bombing campaign that led to a cease-fire and the peace deal.

Host Lisa Mullins speaks with Nicholas Burns, a former State Department official who was in Dayton when the agreement was signed. Burns is now a professor of diplomacy and international relations at the Harvard Kennedy School.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.