Essay on Politics of Peace Success of the Dayton Agreement

Published: 2022/01/11
Number of words: 2237


The process of building a peaceful society after a destructive civil war baffles policy makers, academics as well as statesmen. The world has been struggling to control civil wars all over. There have been civil wars in Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and the present war in Syria. Although these wars differ in perspective and in ideology, there has been a constant need to provide peaceful solutions to such wars. Peace building initiatives proceed with the provision of essential services to the demolishing of negative influences of opposing sides. Other initiatives revolve around the disarming of forces, construction of new constitutions and joint development of plans.

In relation to the Balkan war, various initiatives had an impact in the peace building at the ex-Yugoslavian region. This peace agreement relates to the success of the Dayton agreement that ended the civil war. The Dayton agreement perhaps had its importance in peace building in the region. The agreement acquires the name from where it was signed. It was signed by the opposing sides of the conflict at an Air Force Base near Ohio, Dayton.

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There is a need for humans to solve their conflicts in humane ways. The point of shedding blood does not solve issues, it further aggravates situations. Therefore, war antagonists need to understand the perspectives of their opponents. This understanding, assists individuals grasp the pains, ambitions, trauma and the thinking of their opponents (Stedman, Rothchild, and Cousen, 2002).

History of the Balkan Wars

The history of the Balkan wars relates to two wars that took place in the Balkan Peninsula between 1912 and 1913. This war depicts two wars where, in the first war four states came in unison defeating the Ottoman Empire. In relation to the second war, Bulgaria lost almost all of its holding in Europe. There has been a growing ideology all over the world to the destruction of dictators and such governments. It is part of human nature not to be destroyed or dominated by such regimes (Tomasevich, 2001). However, one needs to have a deeper meaning on dictatorship. Dictatorship is not only denying individuals their rights by use of force, states may also deny citizens their rights by using dictatorial ideologies without use of force.

In the early years of the 1990s, history did repeat itself. The Balkan countries of the Yugoslavian state fell again. The region witnessed ethnic wars that resulted in ethnic cleansing and a wide spread genocide across this region of Europe. This new war differed from the old one in terms of ideology and the methods of fighting. This war came as a result, of modern ideologies on nationalism. On the other hand, the war depicted wishes of some politicians whereas media transformed it to a higher perspective (Paris, 2004). As the economy of the state came under pressure, majority ethnic groups fought for independence from the state. This struggle of independence on the other hand, led to minorities being victimized. Being paranoid and armed members of the minority ethnic groups stirred into action one of the most catastrophic wars of Europe. The war constituted of wars between the Croat, Serbs and the Muslims. At the end of this war, thousands of people died from all political sides, properties lost and interactions destroyed (Lampe, 2000).

The world understands the impact Nazi rule has on world history; there is the need to consider other influences that arise from communist rule. Communist governments are seen as agents of oppression as well as oppression. Leaders in these governments have for decades imposed dictatorial techniques on their subjects in pretext of liberation. A closer look at the Balkan war reveals that by the 20th century Greece, Montenegro, Serbia and Bulgaria was independent from the Ottoman Empire.

However during this period majority of their ethnic population remained under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. After gaining independence from the empire, these countries joined forces to form the Balkan League. The interaction of these countries then resulted in the first war. Speaking of wars, one can state that wars always have its reasons and causes. The reasons for the Balkan war was that the Ottoman Empire was seen as unable to solve problems of the rising numbers of ethnic populations, member countries of the Balkan league saw that the empire was un able to reform its activities and that the regime did not govern satisfactorily.

On the other hand, great powers in the empire began to have disagreements which led to poor creation of development plans and reforms. As a result of these influences, the Balkan war broke out resulting in deaths and despair among its citizens. This then led to the defeat of the Ottoman Empire by the League of Nations. By the year 1914 the empire had lost almost all of its control in the European territories. This then led to an influx of immigrants and refugees of war on its heartland. This war led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire as well as resulted to traumatic suffering among its citizens. Just like in the Balkan war today’s dictatorial governments have been constantly stumbling.

The defiant nature of humans against dictatorship provides another crucial perspective of humans as a society. Recent world events specifically the “Arab spring”, proves to one how a population can destroy dictatorial regimes (Sharp, 2012). Dictators over the last decades have been unable to withstand social revolution of the people, the economic situations of nations, as well as the political climate. Dictatorships have been destroyed by the use of nonviolent means. For example, East Germany, Madagascar, Latvia and Estonia have had their freedom from dictatorship by use on nonviolent defiance (Rifkind and Giandomenico, 2013).

On the other hand, countries have been able to escape dictatorship by the institutionalization of nonviolent resistance. Nonviolent resistance has led to the development of democracies in Uruguay, Zambia, Haiti, Brazil and Nigeria. Other countries use mass defiance techniques such the use of violence. Use of violence to the toppling of dictators includes the use of Coup, interrogations or assistance from foreign nations. For example, foreign powers were instrumental in the toppling of Saddam Hussein of Irag and Gadaffi of Libya (Sharp, 2012).

War Perspectives

One would have believed that the country, which was ruled by Marshall Tito, who died in the year 1980, would outlive his legacy. This however became true for a short period before other forces began its activities in the Yugoslavian state triggering it to dissolution. The modern state that existed in 1945 to 1990s included individuals from diverse cultures and religious affiliations. However looking back at its former state, one will recognise that the state comprised of Austro-Hungararian and the Ottoman Empire. These two powerhouses had their own share of experiences. Both had to content with the control of smaller groups of individuals and both regions felt the need to extent their boundaries. Although there was a struggle for boundaries at this period, the region enjoyed peace (Burg and Shoup, 2000).

In the 1990s, political events in Europe brought another perspective to world knowledge and politics. There were a lot of border changes for example Germany once a region of separate sides came into one, other countries sought their independence from regions. In the Balkan region, such shifts in ideologies became prominent during Yugoslavia’s election in the year 1990. Even though, the government of that period was under one single rule, elections at the lower levels depicted a different scenario (Burg and Shoup, 2000). These divisions in the government and on the social level led to war. On the other hand, Slovenia and Croatia sought for their own independence from Yugoslavia. War broke out in the state that led to the displacement of over 2.7 million citizens, death of over 250,000 people thus creating a humanitarian crisis (Paris, 2004).

Peace making process

The peace making process for this region illustrates to a culmination of efforts by different forces. The war on the other hand, in Bosnia led to the creation of the Dayton agreement that saw a reduction on the conflict. Further NATO forces had a hand in the attainment of peace to the region. The process of making peace in this region relates to the provision of military support by the NATO forces and the signing of peace agreements (Doyle and Sambanis, 2006). The process began with extensive use of NATO forces all over the country. Through their manoeuvres, NATO forces were able to limit deaths and conflicts between warring ethnic groups. Their operations further led to the arrest of many leaders of the conflict.

NATO forces were able to provide a cease-fire to the warring groups. As a second step to peace in the country, Dayton agreement ensures that both sides strides to reintegration and reconciliation. However, with all of these efforts one wonders if this peace will be long lasting. This is because according the warring ended without a decisive victory; both sides to the conflict are not satisfied with the peace accord (Stedman, Rothchild and Cousen, 2002).. They relate to the accord as an initiative to maintain the status quo within the state rather than solve issues related to the conflict.

The process on the other hand, relates to the formulation of partitions within the state. Individuals will be able to maintain separate state’s bodies and even separate armies. With all of these agreements, one would wonder if it brings about to reintegration or further divisions. With all of these warring conclusions, the fact remains that the process has been of success. It comes out clear that the number of individual deaths because of the conflict has greatly reduced, and refugees have a place to call home.

During peace building for countries emerging from civil wars, the first important step is building these states into market economies. It is prudent that peace-building initiatives go in hand with institutions that promote liberal ideologies. During the periods of 1989 and 1990 peace building approaches sought to develop market economies; liberal in nature. There is a belief that such initiatives need to be speedy. However, speedy formulation and implementation of such activities result in the renewal of conflicts as it is seen in Angola and Liberia (Sharp, 2012). Therefore, the promotion of democratization provides a front for social competition. This then is dangerous to those countries that do not have established systems of governance.

Dayton Agreements

The Dayton agreement had an impact in the promotion of peace in Bosnia. The signing of the accord saw an end to a three year armed struggle in the region. The aspects of the accord relates to previous steps taken as early as the year 1992 in ending the conflict. It was during the periods between September and October of the year 1995 that world’s powerful nations drafted an agreement in ending the war in the ex Yugoslavian region (Reneo. 1996). After the contact, meeting world leaders contacted the leaders of the three warring sides to Ohio Dayton for the signing of the peace agreement.

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The purpose of the agreement is to provide peace as stability in Herzegovina and Bosnia. As part of the agreement, the political systems of two sides should have separate governments. On the other hand, it was agreed that there is the need to have different political systems. Further, the agreement provides mandate to many organizations responsible to oversee its implementation. On the other hand, the agreement recognizes NATO led force as responsible for the provision of military support (Paris and Sisk, 2008). Since part of the agreement would be a violation of the constitution of the country. Both Bosnia and Herzegovina Supreme Court under the agreement had to amend parts of their constitutions. Further, the agreement led to territorial changes. This then shows that countries suffering war wounds need to liberate their region for peace building (Stedman, Rothchild and Cousen, 2002).

Is the Agreement Successful?

The agreement was successful in ending war in the former Yugoslavia. This agreement was a success since it was able to contain military confrontation thus preventing costs of fighting. Further Bosnia and Herzegovina transformed from a period of conflict to a period of rebuilding, consolidation and eventually to the development of a partnership. Additionally the success of the agreement’s framework entails to the importance of the international community to peace building in countries in conflicts.

Reference list

Paris, R. 2004. At war’s end: building peace after civil conflict. Cambridge University Press.

Rifkind, G, and Giandomenico P. 2013. The fog of peace: the human face of conflict resolution. IB Tauris.

Sharp, G. 2012. From dictatorship to democracy: A conceptual framework for liberation. The New Press.

Stedman, S, J, Rothchild,S and Cousen.M. 2002. Ending civil wars: The implementation of peace agreements. Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Tomasevich, J. 2001. War and revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945: Occupation and collaboration. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Lampe, J, R. 2000. Yugoslavia as history: twice there was a country. Cambridge University Press.

Paris, R, and Sisk,T. 2008. The dilemmas of statebuilding: confronting the contradictions of postwar peace operations. Routledge.

Doyle, M, W., and Sambanis, N. 2006. Making war and building peace: United Nations peace operations. Princeton University Press.

Burg, S., and Shoup, P. 2000. The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Ethnic conflict and international intervention. ME Sharpe.

Reneo. 1996. Europe from the Balkans to the Urals: the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Oxford University Press.

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