January 4, 2001 - SFOR increased its presence in the central village of Donja Bocinja following confrontations with local and foreign Mujahideen (Islamic fighters).
January 5, 2001 - The China Daily reported that five Chinese police officers were about to join UN peacekeeping operations in Bosnia. It was for the first time that China sent civilian peacekeepers beyond Asia.
Chinese police participated in a UN peacekeeping mission only once before, in the former Indonesian territory of East Timor. Military observers and engineers were dispatched on several occasions since 1989, including to Africa, Iraq and Cambodia. For the longest time, China was wary of peacekeeping missions, believing they can interfere in countries' domestic affairs.
January 9, 2001 - Former Bosnian Serb president (1996-1998) Biljana Plavsic surrendered herself to the United Nations crimes tribunal. She faced charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of the laws and customs of war, and grave breaches of the Geneva Convention. The indictment was kept secret. When Plavsic discovered she was indicted she started negotiations with the UN. NATO was notified of the indictment in April 2000.
January 11, 2001 - Biljana Plavsic pleaded innocent to genocide and other crimes against humanity. Plavsic was accused of being part of the Bosnian Serb wartime presidency that allegedly ordered the executions of thousands of Muslims and Croats in an ethnic cleansing campaign at the outset of the 1992-1995 conflict.
After pressure from the UN international war crimes tribunal Croatia's government decided to lock up personal tapes and transcripts of late President Franjo Tudjman's conversations with his aides and associates for the next 30 years.
January 14, 2001 - US senator Joseph Biden warned Bosnia that if moderate politicians would not join forces to strip the nationalists of power, Washington would lose interest in helping the war-torn country.
No party won an outright majority, but in November's elections all three nationalist parties did well.
January 25, 2001 - Bosnia announced it would send nine military observers — drawn from Bosnia's Muslim, Serb and Croat army components — to serve with the UN peacekeeping mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The one-year deployment was scheduled to commence in February.
February 7, 2001 - The Serb member of Bosnia's collective presidency backed away from threats to declare the US ambassador in Bosnia, Thomas Miller, persona non grata. The chairman of the tripartite presidency, Zivko Radisic, suggested that the presidency had considered the possibility of withdrawing the credentials of some Western ambassadors for overstepping their diplomatic mandates. Miller was accused of interference in the country's internal affairs by trying to influence parliament deputies to support a non-nationalist coalition and its candidate for prime minister. Later Radisic denied having discussed removing Miller's credentials.
February 8, 2001 - A high-level EU delegation with Oleg Milisic said Ana Lindh, foreign minister of Sweden, the union's foreign policy supremo Javier Solana and external relations commissioner Chris Paten had canceled a visit to the Balkan state and US energy giant Enron said it had put large potential investments on hold due to the power vacuum.
February 11, 2001 - Nearly 100,000 demonstrators protested against the investigation of Mirko Norac, a former general suspected of war atrocities, demanding early elections and a stop to Croatia's cooperation with a UN war crimes tribunal.
February 21, 2001 - Former Croatian Major General Mirko Norac, wanted on suspicion of war crimes, ended in police custody after a two-week search that sparked widespread anti-government protests. Norac was on the run since a Croatian court announced Feb. 8 that it was investigating his alleged role in the 1991 killing of Serb civilians in the city of Gospic.
A top official said that one of the three court's most wanted suspects — Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic — went underground after years of living publicly in Belgrade. The tribunal indicted Mladic in 1995 for crimes against humanity and genocide.
February 22, 2001 - Bosnia's parliament on ousted Muslim, Croat and Serb nationalists who had led the country since before the 1992-95 war. The new government was primarily elected by deputies of the multi-ethnic, reformist Alliance for Change. The new government comprised Bozo Matic, an ethnic Croat, as the first rotating chairman, and five ministers and their deputies.
February 23, 2001 - In its first trial dealing exclusively with sexual violence, the United Nations war crimes tribunal prosecuted and condemned three former Bosnian Serb soldiers on charges of sexual slavery. The verdict, read by Judge Florence Mumba of Zambia, also defined rape for the first time as a crime against humanity. The tribunal previously tried cases involving rape, but defined the rape as torture. After World War II only slave labor was prosecuted as slavery — the Japanese military's use of "comfort women" as sex slaves never came before an international tribunal.
Dragoljub Kunarac — a former commander of the Bosnian Serb army — was sentenced to 28 years imprisonment. Radomir Kovac — a former paramilitary commander — was sentenced to 20 years. Both men were accused of multiple rapes, torture and enslavement. Zoran Vukovic — a former paramilitary commander — was given 12 years for rape and torture.
February 24, 2001 - Russia welcomed on the election of Bosnia's first non-nationalist government in more than 10 years, saying it would help strengthen stability in the Balkans.
February 25, 2001 - Chief UN war crimes prosecutor Del Ponte criticized NATO-led peacekeeping forces for not doing enough to pursue accused war criminals in Bosnia. She told Welt am Sonntag that she was especially frustrated at the inability of SFOR to track down former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic.
March 5, 2001 - The presidents of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska — Bosnia's Serb Republic — signed an agreement permitting closer cooperation in such areas as the economy, the fight against crime, tourism and education.
Former army Major General Mirko Norac was formally charged in the 1991 killings of civilians in the central Croatian city of Gospic. Norac and four other former soldiers were indicted on charges that they ordered and took part in the killings of at least 24 civilians. They were the first Croats to be charged with war crimes committed against Serbs during the 1991 war. Croatia's military men are widely regarded as war heroes.
March 8, 2001 - Top peace official in Bosnia, Wolfgang Petritsch, dismissed the Croat member of Bosnia's three-man presidency, Ante Jelavic, and three other top Bosnian Croats after the Bosnian-Croat leader threatened to declare self-rule in Croat-controlled areas. He also barred him from any official or elected public office. Jelavic said he would push ahead with a bid for self-rule for Croats.
Diplomats and non-government experts said the HDZ party's move was more an act of desperation by an increasingly isolated old nationalist movement than a sign of strength.
March 9, 2001 - A Sarajevo public prosecutor indicted six men, including a Bosnian Croat army general in custody in Croatia, for the 1999 murder of Jozo Leutar, deputy interior minister of Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation. Four of the indictees are in custody in Bosnia, one were still at large, while the prime suspect General Ivan Andabak is on trial in Croatia, accused of trying to smuggle 1,455 pounds of cocaine.
March 10, 2001 - Federation Interior Minister Mehmed Zilic, a Bosnian Muslim, said it was possible that some police units may attempt to secede from the federation police and form separate Croat units. He told a news conference "Estimates indicate that the security situation in some parts of the federation may get more complicated in future, with the attempts of some police structures to form separate forces within so-called Croat self-administration," referring to the threats by Croat nationalists that they would leave the federation they formed with Muslims and create instead their separate administration in Croat-controlled areas.
March 15, 2001 - The Bush administration began withdrawing 800 troops from the 4,400 US troops present in Bosnia. Some helicopters and other heavy equipment — amongst which 16 AH-64 Apache helicopters, heavy armor, and infantry fighting vehicles — were no longer deemed necessary. The next NATO review was scheduled for May 2001.
March 30, 2001 - Croat nationalists said almost 8,000 Croat soldiers had abandoned their posts in support of a call for self-rule made in protest at the exclusion of the rightist Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party from the new government of Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation. The government responded by sacking some of the generals who had led the mutiny and pledging to reform the contingents to make a united Muslim-Croat army.
March 31, 2001 - Croatian police arrested Bosnian Croat Miroslav Anic, indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal for atrocities committed in 1993 against Muslims during the war in neighboring Bosnia. His indictment was kept secret.
April 1, 2001 - Bosnia started using DNA testing after US companies donated state of the art equipment. Five years after the end of the Bosnian war thousands of unidentified bodies still lie in racks in the largest morgue in the world.
April 2, 2001 - Hundreds of survivors of a Serb massacre during the Bosnian war stormed the UN building in Sarajevo. The crowd heard that Muslim wartime commander of the Srebrenica enclave, Naser Oric, was about to be arrested for trial by the UN war crimes tribunal. Oric was a bodyguard of Slobodan Milosevic and was considered a hero by Bosnian Muslims for his defense of Srebrenica during the Serb siege. But Bosnia's Serbs said he was a war criminal, accusing him of killing dozens of Serb civilians before the siege of the town.
April 3, 2001 - Top police officials in Bosnia's Mostar region said they did not recognize the newly-elected government of Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation and pledged support for a separate Croat administration. Some 8,000 Croat officers left the joint Croat-Muslim army. It was a separatist action by Croat nationalists who wanted to break away from the joint federation with Muslims and form a self-rule government. Newly-elected Croat presidency member Jozo Krizanovic removed two Bosnian Croat generals for refusing to recognize the authority of new federation defense minister, Mijo Anic.
Bosnia said that Slobodan Milosevic's acknowledgment that Yugoslavia was involved in Bosnia's 1992-5 war would remove a burden weighing down ties between the two countries.
April 5, 2001 - Challenging their Muslim-Croat government and trying to create their own separate Croat ministate in Bosnia, ethnic Croat nationalists took control of an army barrack in the town of Busovaca -- 35 miles west of Sarajevo -- and another in the town of Vitez.
[Image: Reuters/Danilo Krstanovic]
April 6, 2001: Spanish SFOR troops tried
to prevent nationalist Croats from attacking
them. The riots left eighteen soldiers, three
officers and three civilians injured.
April 6, 2001 - Bosnian Croat extremists took several international officials hostage and took one of them outside and threatened him with execution. The orchestrated riots broke out after international officials moved into several branches of Herzegovacka Banka, the financial lifeline of the Croat separatist campaign. Some six vehicles belonging to international officials or peacekeepers were set on fire, in some cases while local police, sympathizing with the separatists, stood by. Later, masked police, backed by SFOR troops, seized control of the bank.
SFOR also stepped up their presence at a military barracks in Kiseljak north west of Sarajevo.
Bosnia's international administrator, Wolfgang Petritsch, appointed a new bank manager for the Hercegovacka Banka and said he would not back down in the face of threats. A Croat hard-liner, Ivan Bender, called the raid on the bank a "provocation" by the international community.
May 2, 2001 - UN prosecutors said they believed a special team dedicated to tracking down suspected war criminals should be created to speed up the arrest of the suspects still at large in Bosnia.
May 7, 2001 - Thousands of rioting Bosnian Serb nationalists trapped top Western diplomats, including the head of the UN mission to Bosnia — Jacques Klein — in a building in Banja Luka. Muslims applauded when Klein arrived, but his arrival prompted an outburst of anger from gathered Serbs. According to a British photographer it was clear early that something was going to happen and that NATO allowed the situation to spin out of control. Hours later, Bosnian Serb police evacuated the nearly 300 people trapped in the building.
May 10, 2001 - Russia announced plans to withdraw a further 150 peacekeepers from Bosnia starting on July 1, 2001, scaling down its contingent to 900 troops. Some 1,600 Russian troops were initially deployed in Bosnia in 1996. About 3,000 Russian troops also form part of KFOR.
May 16, 2001 - The Bosnian government and commanders of some 7,000 mutinous Croat troops reached a compromise agreement on the return of all Croat soldiers to their duties in order to avoid bloodshed.
An explosion in Vitez — about 20 miles west of Sarajevo — destroyed the office of one of the parties belonging to the ruling pro-Western alliance, the Social Democratic Party. Another explosion destroyed he offices of the New Croat Initiative, or NHI, in Novi Travnik, about 35 miles west of Sarajevo.
May 21, 2001 - The Bosnian government expressed concerns by reports US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld pushed to withdraw some 500 American troops from the roughly 3,600 present in Bosnia as part of SFOR. The decision marked also the latest chapter in a dispute over peacekeeping that continued to divide the Bush administration in the US.
May 27, 2001 - NATO approved a plan to reduce its peacekeeping force in Bosnia from 21,000 to 18,000. NATO reviews troop deployments in the Balkans every six months. NATO considered but rejected plans for a "deterrent force." That option would involve slashing the NATO peacekeeping force to 12,000 while maintaining the ability to rush more troops to Bosnia if trouble would break out.
June 4, 2001 - Nine Serbs went on trial on charges of genocide during the Serb rebellion. Only two of the nine defendants — members of Serb paramilitary units — appeared in court to plead innocent. The other seven were tried in absentia in Osijek — some 190 miles east of Zagreb. The men were accused of killing an unspecified number of civilians while purging Croats from areas they claimed for the Serb minority.
June 10, 2001 - Bosnian Muslim officials found up to 15 bodies in a pit after an anonymous tip. The bodies were believed to be victims of the Foca prison camp — close to the border with Yugoslavia — during the Bosnian civil war.
June 22, 2001 - The chairman of Bosnia's reformist central government, Bozidar Matic, resigned after parliament failed to adopt a new election law.
July 4, 2001 - Bosnian Serb prime minister Mladen Ivanic said the arrest of top fugitive war crimes suspects Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic was looming as the Bosnian Serb parliament prepared to pass a law on the subject. The UN believed the two suspects were in the republic.
July 7, 2001 - In an emergency meeting the Croatian cabinet gave the green light for any citizen indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal to be arrested and extradited. Four social liberal ministers in the 23-member cabinet offered their resignations in protest.
The UN war crimes tribunal disclosed it indicted two Croat citizens for wartime atrocities against Serbs. The suspects were retired General Ante Gotovina — a commander during the 1995 offensive — and Rahim Ademi — a general of Kosovo-Albanian origin.
July 8, 2001 - Forensic experts recovered more than 100 sacks of human remains from several mass graves near the village of Glogova, a few miles west of Srebrenica. The victims are believed to be Muslims from Srebrenica — the exact number of bodies could not be determined. In Srebrenica, up tp 8,000 Muslim men and boys were executed by Bosnian Serb forces. So far forensic experts have found more than 4,000 of the victims.
Croatia's government plunged into crisis over a decision to arrest and hand over two Croatians named in two sealed indictments to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.
[Image: AP/Amel Emric]
July 9, 2001: Bosnian forensic
worker at the Identification
Center in Tuzla with remains
found in Liplje near Zvornik.
July 10, 2001 - The foreign minister of Bosnia, Zlatko Lagumdzija, pledged an all-out effort to apprehend wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his senior military officer, Ratko Mladic. The two were indicted by the UN for genocide in 1995. Lagumdzija admitted the police in Bosnia "are not doing enough". Judges at the war-crimes tribunal made it easier to convict suspects of genocide, saying their actions did not necessarily have to be part of a master plan or campaign to eliminate an entire community.
July 13, 2001 - NATO Secretary-General George Robertson said that Bosnia risked international isolation and a "return to chaos" if it did not work harder to overcome ethnic divisions.
A Zagreb court issued a warrant for the arrest of an officer sought by the UN war crimes tribunal for atrocities against Serbs. Another suspect planned to surrender directly to the court in The Hague.
July 14, 2001 - A Czech SFOR soldier died from injuries he suffered while destroying ammunition collected from local people. He was seriously injured a day earlier when a hand grenade exploded.
August 20, 2001 - Bosnian Serb officials said Monday they were building a war-crimes case against Alija Izetbegovic that could send the former Bosnian president and Muslim leader to the U.N. tribunal for trial.
Izetbegovic, who led Bosnia through the 1992-1995 war, suggested this weekend that he was ready to appear before the tribunal in The Hague (news - web sites), Netherlands, if summoned.