The ongoing and seemingly endless civil war in the territory of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia officially began on June 25, 1991, when two republics, Slovenia and Croatia, declared their independence and provoked the collapse of the nation. The fighting republics committed and are still committing countless atrocities, including murder, rape, torture, and "ethnic cleansing. " In response, the United Nations Security Council (Council) established an international tribunal to prosecute war crimes perpetrated during the Yugoslav war. The tribunal is the first internationally mandated forum established by the United Nations (UN) to prosecute crimes against humanity since the Nuremberg trials of top Nazi leaders after World War II.
Barbara M. Tocker, Intervention in the Yugoslav Civil War: The United Nations' Right to Create an International Criminal Tribunal, 12 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 527 (1994).