The Bosnian War started 30 years ago, in 1992, when Bosnian Serbs, with the help of the Yugoslav army, tried to create ethnically pure territories with an aim of joining neighboring Serbia. More than 100,000 people were killed and millions were left homeless during the worst bloodshed in Europe since World War II.
The 1992-1995 war pitted Bosniaks, who are mostly Muslims, Serbs and Croats, against each other and ended with the U.S.-sponsored peace agreement that created two regions.
Deep tensions persist, but Dzaferovic, a Bosniak Muslim, said the nation was strong enough "to persevere" despite internal movements he called "part of the broad wave of right-wing populism in Europe."
Economic and energy crises, Dzaferovic said, go hand in hand with that populism, cautioning of dangerous modern-day echoes today of Nazism’s rhetoric of racial supremacy that led to war and, ultimately, the establishment of the United Nations based on the principle that all people are equal.
“Almost eight decades later, we can hear voices openly or implicitly denying those fundamental tenets,” he said. “It only takes one step from those ideas to violence.”
AP National Writer Matt Sedensky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and https://twitter.com/sedensky. For more AP coverage of the U.N. General Assembly, visit https://apnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly