Alija Izetbegović


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Bosnian politician, President of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–96), and part of a rotating tripartite presidency (1996–2000). Izetbegović's championing of Islam brought him into conflict with the secular communist state of former Yugoslavia and he was imprisoned several times. In 1990, he formed the anti-communist Party of Democratic Action, which won power in the regional elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina; he was appointed President of a seven-member collective state presidency. When the republic declared its independence in 1992, a bloody civil war ensued, in which Izetbegović took a conciliatory line, attempting to keep the country intact with a constitution guaranteeing equal rights for all ethnic groups and religious toleration. After the secession of the Bosnian Serbs and violent acts of “ethnic cleansing”, he eventually signed the Dayton Accord in 1995, which formalized partition of the republic. He was the Muslim member of the resulting joint presidency and its chairman from 1996 to 1998.

Subjects: Politics — World History.

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