In the midst of the solidification of the socialist system and the advancing economic crisis in the mid-1980’s, Slobodan Milošević, the young and energetic chairman of the capital Belgrade, was elected the new chairman of the Serbian communists in 1987, and two years later he was also the President of the Republic of Serbia. A unique rise in power begins. From Serbia, Milosevic tries to take power in Yugoslavia through populist socialist and Serbian nationalist mass mobilization. He affirms the memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences opposed by the regime in 1986(SANU) – a paper by several academy members, which reinterprets the complicated institutional position of the Republic of Serbia in an ethno-nationalist program. With organized “spontaneous” mass demonstrations in 1988/89, Milosevic overthrew the leaderships of Montenegro, Vojvodina and Kosovo and thus gained control of half of all federal Yugoslav units. The status of the autonomous provinces is abolished. In Kosovo this has led to a violent escalation and the establishment of a ten-year apartheid regime against the Albanian population, who are being completely driven out of public life. At the same time, however, Milosevic is fueling the conflict with the other leaderships of the republic, especially in Slovenia and Croatia. The last congress of the communist party, the League of Communists of Yugoslavia with the collapse of the (unity) party – the defacto end of the Titoist post-war Yugoslavia. In 1990 the first multi-party elections were held in all republics; in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina new or reformed political forces come to power, while in Serbia and Montenegro the socialist party can consolidate its power.
According to cheeroutdoor, the conflict over the reform of the Yugoslav state between Belgrade and the northern republics leads to a break between them. Slovenia and Croatia declare state independence in 1991, while Serbian political forces in Croatia and Bosnia – supported by Belgrade – proclaim their own Serbian-ethnic republics in parts of the territory of these republics, the conflict is transformed into a conflict over the dissolution of Yugoslavia – along the borders the federal units or along ethnic “borders”. The ethnicizing, violent disintegration of Yugoslavia begins. This dragged itself through 3 wars in the first half of the 90’s, the 10-day war in Slovenia in June 1991, which brought Slovenia independence and promoted the Serbian-ethnic transformation of the Yugoslav army; the Croatian war, which broke out in July, came to a temporary end in early 1992 with a UN-monitored armistice and then briefly flared up again in 1993 and 94; and the Bosnian War, which began in April 92, lasted three and a half years and the most striking events of which were the siege of Sarajevo and the genocide of Srebrenica. Especially the war in Bosnia reached the full expression of these ethnic wars of conquest, which are characterized by “ethnic cleansing” and mass war crimes, by ethnic displacement and camps in which rape, torture and murder take place and in which paramilitary and criminals side by side with the military and Police stand. While the Milosevic regime played a central role in the wars and the military, takes logistical and economic support of the Serbian para-state structures in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro founded the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in May 1992, with which they lay claim to the legal succession of Yugoslavia and at the same time formally not to the wars in the neighboring countries do have. Ideologically, the parallel propagation of socialist, titoist Yugoslavia and aggressive Serbian (anti-communist) nationalism led to ideological confusion in Serbian society about the cause and effect of state collapse and ethnic violence and the role of one’s own society in it – with simultaneous profound ethnicization that leads to a hitherto unknown dominance of the ethnic in almost all areas of Serbian society.
As a result of a UN embargo on Serbia at the end of 1993, hyperinflation led the country to the verge of collapse and caused Milošević to turn away from war policy. At the end of 1995, Milošević negotiated the Dayton Peace Treaty in Dayton, Ohiofor Bosnia instead of the Bosnian-Serbian political leadership. After Belgrade peace efforts towards Croatian Serbs failed in the same year, the Croatian army had recaptured the Serbian-controlled areas in Croatia in August in the military action Sturm, in the framework of which it was welcomed by Zagreb – the collective escape of the Serbian population there to Serbia came. After Serbia’s international isolation came to an end in 1996, there was a conflict between the government and the opposition, which the Milošević regime wanted to prevent from winning local elections in several large cities. After months of protests and Western pressure, Milosevic, the party leader of the opposition Democratic Party (DS), Zoran Đinđic, gave in became mayor of Belgrade. Despite the collapse of the opposition alliance, the regime’s crisis continued and repression against the critical media, academics, intellectuals and party political opposition increased.
The unresolved situation in Kosovo, the apartheid regime, led to an armed uprising under the newly formed Kosovo Liberation Army UCK in the late 1990’s, Countermeasures by the Serbian police and military resulted in an estimated 180,000 displaced Albanians within Kosovo at the end of 1998. After failed peace negotiations under Western mediation in February and March 1999, NATO began the Kosovo war against Serbia on March 24, 1999. In a three-stage air war, military installations were initially attacked, and later civil infrastructure as well. Belgrade reacted with an ethnic cleansing policy in Kosovo; almost one million Albanians fled or were expelled to Albania and Macedonia. Milosevic only gave in in June 1999, when Kosovo was placed under the UN protectorate in the Kumanovo Agreement.
After nationwide protests by the youth movement Otpor (resistance) and the opposition alliance DOS and after the victory of the opposition politician Vojislav Koštunica in the Yugoslav presidential elections against Milošević in September 2000, which was not recognized by the regime, the Milosevic regime was defeated in a mass demonstration on October 5, 2000 crashed in Belgrade. Koštunica became the first freely elected president of the state, Zoran Đinđic became Serbian Prime Minister after parliamentary elections in 2001 and shortly afterwards had Milosevic arrested and extradited to the UN War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague (ICTY). In March 2003, Zoran Đinđic, the bearer of hope for democratic Serbia, was killed in an assassination attempt; the perpetrators came from the milieu of the secret services and paramilitaries of the Milošević regime. In February 2003 the state was renamed Serbia-Montenegro, which led to a three-year postponement of the independence efforts of Montenegro, which left the confederation after a referendum in 2006. In June of the same year, the parliament in Belgrade declared the formal independence of Serbia. On November 10, 2006, after a previous referendum, the parliament adopted the first post-communist Serbian constitution, which at the same time represented an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the looming proclamation of the independence of the former Serbian province of Kosovo. This ended the Yugoslavia process of disintegration.