On This Day

Dayton Agreement

The full and official signing of the Dayton Agreement in Paris, France
The full and official signing of the Dayton Agreement in Paris, France

Historical Context

After the death of leader Josip Broz Tito in 1980, Yugoslavia began to breakup into its various constituent ethnic parts. The collapse of the Soviet Union accelerated this process, and by 1992 the Balkans region was once again aflame. The Bosnian War was the longest and the deadliest of these conflicts, fought by complex and changing sides of Bosnians, Serbs and Croats.

By 1995 the conflict had reached a military stalemate. The Bosnian capital Sarajevo had been under the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare (1,425 days). NATO had intervened against Serbian positions beginning in 1995, which proved decisive in bringing the different sides to the negotiating table. They met in Dayton, Ohio, from November 1 to 21, 1995, with a deal agreed, to be signed formally in Paris the next month.

Under the Dayton Agreement the war ended and all sides recognized a single sovereign state known as Bosnia and Herzegovina. This country was to be divided into two parts, the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska and the Croat-Bosniak Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This remains Bosnia's political situation and structure to this day.

The war cost the lives of over 100,000 people and led to the first genocide in Europe since World War II, at Srebrenica.

Photo Info

Photographer: NATO
Date taken: December 14, 1995
Location taken: Paris, France

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Related Events

  • 1995-12-14 The Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris by leaders of various governments ending the conflict in the former Yugoslavia including Slobodan Milošević, Alija Izetbegović, Franjo Tuđman and Bill Clinton

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