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Bosnia Field Report: Foca, Once the Country’s Black Hole

June 15, 2011

The Foca river valley, located in eastern Bosnia, was once dubbed Bosnia’s “black hole” because of its reputation for harboring war criminals. The valley was the backdrop of some of the worst ethnic cleansing and atrocities committed against women during the country’s bitter war in the mid-1990s, which left more than 100,000 dead. In 1992, Bosnian Serbs rounded up thousands of Muslim and Croat civilians, executing them or relegating them to concentration camps. By the war’s end, the number of non-Serbs living in Foca had been reduced from 20,000 to less than a hundred.

Women, War & Peace traveled to Foca to interview Muslim returnees, who are rebuilding their lives despite on-going ethnic tension, and to profile community leaders actively working to foster tolerance in this region once ravaged by war.

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