Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Bosnian civil war simulation at Penn

From the Daily Pennsylvanian at the University of Pennsylvania, news of a recent simulation of the  Bosnian civil war:

Simulation brings Bosnian War to Penn

by Jared Dubin | Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 8:28 pm

“Execute all civilians.”

This was the order sent over radio in a Weigle Information Commons study room at 4:23 p.m. this past Saturday.

College junior Joseph Tirella gave the order while assuming the role of an insurgent in a real-time Peacekeeping and Stabilization Mission Simulation created by Bruce Newsome, a lecturer in the International Relations Program. Newsome developed the simulation as a postgraduate student at Penn in 2001 and has since created many others.

More than 40 students with majors varying from international relations to biology took on roles as non-government organizations, military forces, government coalitions and two factions of locals in Bosnia. Participants were confined to Weigle for the duration of the mission phase, which occurred in real time from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The simulation was based on the Bosnian War that took place during the mid-1990s. During the unstable period in the region, accusations were made of ethnic cleansing, which led to a NATO intervention in 1995.

Like in the actual conflict, students on the peacekeeping side were tasked with securing local refugees and extending a safe zone farther north in the region.

More coverage at the link here.

UPDATE: You’ll also find a report on the simulation from the organizers (the International Relations Program at the University of Pennsylvania) here, and some pictures from the event here.

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