CNN (CNN) — Twenty years ago, April 5, 1992, Suada Dilberovic and Olga Sucic were shot and killed in Sarajevo. They were the shots heard around the world and they started the Bosnian War.
I covered that war, and many colleagues are gathering in Sarajevo now to commemorate what took hundreds of thousands of lives, left so many more wounded, and created millions of refugees. This was the war that introduced us to the term “ethnic cleansing.”
The dominant Balkan power at the time, Serbia wanted to keep Yugoslavia together, and failing that, to carve out ethnically pure areas in the breakaway states to create a Greater Serbia.
It was a horrible fantasy that sought to destroy an ethnically mixed, intermarried community that had lived peacefully and progressively together in Bosnia.
This war was defining for the region, for the world and for those of us who covered it.