The Rise And Fall Of Yugoslavia - The Story Of Tito

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On May 4th 2010 it will be 30 years since the charismatic leader of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia died, leaving a splintered Republic in his wake.

For thirty-five years Josip Broz Tito seemingly held together a republic of seven frontiers, six republics, five nationalities, four languages, three religions and two alphabets.

But during his reign ethnic tensions were always bubbling under the surface and ten years after his death they exploded into violence not witnessed in Europe since the Second World War.

In this two part series Martin Bell returns to the region he spent much of the 1990s reporting from, tracing the events that kept the Yugoslav Republic together & subsequently tore it apart.

And he asks whether 15 years after the Dayton Peace Agreement, the Balkans is precariously balancing on the edge once more.

Martin takes a journey through history, his own & Tito's, across the mountains of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia; To Kumrovec, the birthplace of Tito, Jajce the birthplace of the republic & Belgrade, where Tito is buried.

During his travels he speaks with the Crown Prince of Serbia at Tito & Milosevic's former Presidential Palace, Stepjan Mesic & Raif Dizdarevic prominent Communist leaders who helped run Yugoslavia with Tito, and after he had died.

Talking with those who knew, respected, feared & loved Tito, Martin looks at the legacy of the man who defied Stalin and turned himself into a World Statesman.

Charting the decade from Tito's death - when Yugoslavia hung together by a thread - to the outbreak of war, he investigates whether Tito could have done more to keep his beloved republic together and asks why a man whose funeral was attended by high profile delegates from every corner of the globe was so quickly forgotten by the West.

The producer is Gemma Newby.

This is an All Out production for BBC Radio 4.

Martin Bell tells the story of Tito, the fall of Yugoslavia and current crisis in Bosnia.

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In episode one Martin takes a journey through history, his own & Tito's, across the mountains of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia; To Kumrovec, the birthplace of Tito, Jajce the birthplace of the republic & Belgrade, where Tito is buried.

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Martin Bell traces the story of Tito, the fall of Yugoslavia and the crisis in Bosnia.

15 years after the international community stepped in to end the war in Bosnia, Martin Bell heads to Sarajevo to find out whether the old arguments that made talks between communities break down in 1990 are rearing their heads two decades later.

Nationalist arguments, playing on ethnic identities and old fears, have returned in a country that is more separated and segregated than ever.

Examining the Dayton Peace Agreement Martin asks whether it was successful in rebuilding post-war Bosnia or whether it remains part of the reason Bosnia is still struggling.

He explores whether foreign interference, in enforcing a share of power amongst multiple agencies has stalled any meaningful progress, and what can be done to stop Bosnia collapsing back into a state of civil war, as some fear.

Should the international community step away and risk creating a black hole in Europe or do they continue to intervene to ensure violence is abated and peace remains, even if it is manufactured by outsiders?

Returning to Sarajevo, the place where he was shot and injured, Martin explores what has changed and what has remained the same since the war in the early nineties, talking with Bosnian Serb, Muslim and Croats about their hopes and fears for Bosnia's future.

Martin also meets with Bosnia's current High Representative, and its most famous former High Representative, Paddy Ashdown, to find out what role the International Community can play in securing a safer future for Bosnia and for all of the Balkans.

The producer is Gemma Newby.

This is an All Out production for BBC Radio 4.

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In the second episode of Martin Bell's series on Tito and the Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia", news reports from the wars and his own first person accounts of the terror that raged across the Balkans for five years brings us to Bosnia in 2010.