The Yugoslav Wars were a series of violent conflicts in the territory of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) that took place between 1991 and 2001. They comprised several sets of successive wars, which affected all of the six former Yugoslav republics. They were characterised by violent ethnic conflicts between the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats, Bosnians or Albanians on the other; but also between Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia and Macedonians and Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia. The conflict had its roots in various underlying political, economic and cultural problems, as well as long-standing ethnic and religious tensions, being suppressed for a long period in the SFRY.
The wars were the bloodiest conflicts on European soil since the end of World War II. They were also the first conflicts since World War II to have been formally judged genocidal in character. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established by the United Nations to prosecute these crimes, and many individual participants were subsequently charged with war crimes.