Photography: 98for98: The century in photographs: today 1992
Wednesday 13 May 1998
In the Balkans, however, altogether more basic priorities preoccupied the warring factions of a disintegrating Yugoslavia. After Bosnia-Herzegovina's declaration of independence in March, the speed with which Serbian forces, supported by the Yugoslav army, set about the new state took the international community by surprise. Though it became apparent that both sides committed atrocities in the ensuing conflict, the sharpest criticism was reserved for the Serbs' "ethnic cleansing" campaign. As they closed in on the capital, Sarajevo, the Serbs systematically attempted to eradicate Croats and Muslims from all Bosnian territory that they annexed.
Despite the fact that 1.4 million Bosnian residents abandoned their homes to escape the terror, it took news of Serbian prison camps to prompt the West to take action.
However, though some commentators suggested that the White House was aware of the appalling conditions in the camps as early as July, little was done until the following month, when television pictures of skeletal inmates provoked outrage around the world. The Red Cross told of "innocent civilians being arrested and subjected to inhumane treatment as part of a policy of forced population transfers carried out on a massive scale". It is believed that the camp commanders only allowed television news crews to film the healthiest prisoners.
The US itself witnessed how quickly society could descend into chaos. Rioting in May claimed the lives of 58 Los Angeles citizens when race relations, already strained, broke down completely with the acquittal by an all-white jury of four white policeman on assault charges. The policeman had been caught on video savagely beating Rodney King, a young black man. Five thousand soldiers were called in to restore order to the city, where the rioting caused damage estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars.
Life & Style blogs
Childcare 'not just a women's issue,' says shadow minister as she sets out her 'dadifesto'
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
The 10 Best juicers
Grim second life of the 'breastaurant': The oft-loathed sector is booming in the States thanks to Hooters, Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt
The 10 Best food processors
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...