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The following glossary can be used to help you with any terms you want to know more about. There are many terms that are unique to the West Balkans and the following list will help you know them better.

Balkan: is a Turkish word for mountains and has become the name for the region around and to the south of the Carpathian Mountains (also known as the Transylvanian Alps). The West Balkan countries are on the west side near the Adriatic Sea. They were once a part of the Roman province of Dacia.

“Brotherhood and Unity”: was the plan or policy of Josip Broz Tito, the leader of Yugoslavia after the Second World War. The policy was set up to silence opponents of an united Yugoslavia, that were nationalist leaders of the Serbs, Montenegrins, Croats, Muslims, Slovenes, Macedonians, and Albanians by sending them to jail or exile.

Bosnian Croat Defence Council (HVO): was the armed militia of the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina that supported and protect Bosnian Croats. The HVO wanted to establish Croat dominance in sections of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

BSA: was the Bosnian Serb armed militia that supported Bosnian Serb desires that was to attain Serbian control of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to join with the Serbian controlled Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Chetniks were Serbians that fought to return the Serbian royal family during the Second World War.

Communist: political theory called for the elimination of all private property and the formation of a system where property is held and used for the common good.

Croats occupied the area southeast of Slovenia and became Roman Catholics adopting the Latin alphabet, and were fully absorbed by the Hungarians in 1120C.E.

Economic sanctions: are international agreements to restrict trade with any nation that all agree are acting in an unacceptable manner. It is generally accepted as a diplomatic tool to pressure a country to change the way it is behaving. The sanctions can include many actions like restricting what can be sold or bought from a country. Sanctions can include restrictions of travel to and from the effected nation, or the transportation of good through that nation.

Ethnic Cleansing: is a term used during the Balkan conflict that called for the removal of ethnic groups from territory for occupation by another single ethnic group . This included everything from taking away jobs, land, homes, and institutions of the occupants of specified ethnic groups. It included the massacre of populations as well.

European Union (EU): is made up of twenty-five independent nations that were once made up the European Community (EC) or European Economic Community (EEC). The European Union was formed to facilitate the close cooperation of European Nations around political, economic, and social cooperation.

Fascist: hold the nation and race above all individuals, and call for a dictatorial centralized government with single minded economic and social policies that use suppression of all individual rights for the whole.

Illyrians are one of two original peoples that can be dated back to about 1000 BCE who occupied the West Balkans.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY): is a division of the United Nations on 25 May 1993 in response to the reports of mass human right violations in the former Yugoslavia. The Tribunal works was established by the Security Council resolution 827 that was to bring those who have committed human rights violation in Yugoslavia since 1991. The Tribunal operates in The Hague, Netherlands.

International Criminal Tribunal: Since the end of the Second World War and the Nuremburg Trials that tried those in Germany who carried out atrocities like genocide, there have been many ad hoc tribunals established to bring charges against those who commit crimes against humanity. The practice of trying those who have committed such crimes have brought about he establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2003.

Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA): began in 1996 as a secretive group of Albanians that was established to oppose the Serbian dominance of the Kosovo region, bringing with it massive human rights abuses against the local Albanians. The KLA began a campaign of bombing Serbian police and forces in their effort to win independence for Kosovo.

Medieval: is a term that refers to the Middle Ages of west and southern European history. The period extended from about 600 to about 1400 C. E. and was characterized in the region by a feudal social system, periodic nomadic invasions and domination. The period ended with the Renaissance period.

Nazi (Nazism): is the label given to the party and the government of Germany by National Socialist German Workers’ party in the Third Reich. Nazi theory and practice was founded on beliefs about the superiority of the German race and instituted a totalitarian regime with total control by the government over industry and individual rights.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance formed 1949. The member nations from North America and Europe commit to the goal of providing security to all members.

Ottoman: This refers to Othman Osman I who founded the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire centered on what is now the nation of Turkey.

Serbian Democratic Party (SDS): was led by Radovan Karadzic who was a pan Serbian nationalist. The SDS had the goal of expanding its territory to dominate as much of the West Balkans as possible and to control it. They wished to create a Serbian empire like the one that existed during the Middle Ages.

Slavs are an Indo-European speaking people that arrived in the Balkans and other countries of east central Europe in the first century C. E.

Slovenes had their own distinctive language and territory in the northwest part of the West Balkan peninsula. They were conquered by Charlemagne in 778 C. E., became Roman Catholic and adopted the Latin alphabet.

Thracians were one of two original peoples in the Balkans that can be dated back to about 1000 B. C. E. They occupied the eastern regions of the Balkan.

United Nations was founded in 1947 by countries united to provide an international organization to avoid wars and provide a forum to maintain international law.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: is a declaration passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993. It set out in clear terms the human rights that should be enjoyed by all people around the world. The terms of the Declaration of Human Rights are the standard that nations are expected to fulfill for their citizens.

Ustashas was the Croatian group supporting German and Italian Fascist regimes during the Second World War. Ustashas opposed the Serbian Chetniks who wished to return the Serbian Kingdom. The Ustashas were opposed to Tito’s Communists.

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