This Day in the Law
November 21

Dayton Accords Agreed Upon to End Bosnian War (1995)

On November 21, 1995, the Dayton Accords (also known as the Dayton Agreement or Dayton-Paris Agreement) came to a close at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio, to end the Bosnian War. In particular, the leaders of Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, and others met at the Air Force base, away from extensive media coverage, and negotiated peace after three-and-half years of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

War erupted in 1992 in Bosnia, Herzegovina, and the surrounding regions after Yugoslavia officially dissolved as a country. The main combatants were ethnic Serbians and Croatians fighting over territory and other issues. Over the next three-and-half years over a quarter of a million people died and millions became refugees.

From November 1 to November 21, 1995, numerous leaders from many countries met to discuss peace in the former region of Yugoslavia, including: Croatian President Franjo Tudman, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey, Serbian President Slobodan MiloŇ°evic, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, U.S. General Wesley Clark, negotiator Richard Holbrooke, First Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Igor Ivanov, U.K. representative Colonel Arundell Leakey, among others.

On November 21, the Dayton Accords (as they are now called) came to an end with agreement for peace in the former country of Yugoslavia. The Dayton Accords were signed in Paris, France on December 14, 1995 which officially brought the Bosnian War to an end. The signatories of the Dayton Accords in Paris included: Bosnian President, Alijia Izetbegovic; Croatian President, Franjo Tudjman; Serbian President, Slobodan Milosevic; French President Jacques Chirac; U.K. Prime Minister John Major; German Chancellor Helmut Kohl Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin; and U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Many territorial disputes were resolved through the Dayton Accords. For example, the Bosnian Serbs received 49% of the original land of Bosnia-Herzogovina, and the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croatians received 51% of the remaining land. The countries of Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia also agreed to respect the sovereignty of each other and to attempt to settle disputes through peaceful negotiations.