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Preview: Dayton Peace Accords At 20 Events This Week Include Bill Clinton Speech

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This week Dayton will recognize the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995. Events in the area will include a visit by former President Bill Clinton on Thursday.

Richard Campbell got interested in the Dayton Peace Accords when he visited Croatia for the first time a few years ago and learned his cousin’s husband, Kico Gegic, had been a child soldier in Croatia in the early 90s. The ongoing battles in the region terrorized Kico’s family.

“A mortar shell hit his apartment building and one of his brothers was killed, and he found that brother,” says Campbell—the brother was 17 at the time. Two other brothers died; one was shot after refusing to fight in the Serbian army, and the other killed himself.

Campbell, who’s half-Croatian, is also the head of the journalism department at Miami University. Miami is hosting a series of events culminating in a one-day conference Wednesday that will feature a panel with Kico Gegic and other survivors of the wars in what used to be Yugoslavia. Journalists from the region will also speak Wednesday.

A three-day event in Dayton will dig into the tenuous peace created in the region by the Dayton Accords. Guests include the current Mayor of Sarajevo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Bill Clinton, whose administration oversaw the negotiations. Clinton will speak at a private luncheon Thursday.

Lewis Wallace is WYSO's managing editor, substitute host and economics reporter. Follow him @lewispants.