TEACHERS: Want the podcast?

Learn More
Sarajevo siege running across street

Image licensed under CC BY 3.0

Social Studies High School

Ethnic Divisions Led to Civil War in Sarajevo

The Bosnia war started tragically with the siege of the capital, Sarajevo, in 1992. The takeover lasted longer than any siege of a capital city in modern European history. The growing nationalism among the 6 republics of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia sparked hostilities, and in 1991, Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia declared their independence. When Bosnia declared independence in 1992, the Serb-dominated Yugoslav army and Serbian leaders Radovan Karadžić and Slobodan Milosevic attacked Bosnia and caused two million Bosnians to flee their homes. The people of Croatia also attacked the country and claimed Bosnian possessions. The war lasted three and a half years and cost more than 100,000 people their lives. This audio story, recorded in 2012, describes relations among Bosnia’s three main ethnic groups—Muslims, Serbs, and Croats—at that time and 20 years later.

Religion Violence

Story Length: 5:09

Listen to the Story:


National Public Radio © 2012 National Public Radio, Inc. Used with the permission of NPR. All rights reserved.

AIR DATE: 04/05/2012

Want to hear the story and see the teaching resources?

  • Access to full library of lessons
  • Daily current events
  • Listening comprehension questions
  • Graphic Organizers
Learn More


Related Lessons