|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Anthem: Državna himna Bosne i Hercegovine
The National Anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Location of Bosnia and Herzegovina (green)
on the European continent (dark grey) — [Legend]
(and largest city)
|Ethnic groups||48% Bosniak
|Government||Federal democratic republic|
|-||High Representative||Valentin Inzko1|
|-||Presidency members||Haris Silajdžić2
|-||Prime Minister||Nikola Špirić|
|-||Formed||August 29, 1189|
to Ottoman Empire conquest
|-||Annexation of Bosnia by Austro-Hungarian Empire||1908|
|-||National Day||November 25, 1943 (establishing of the anti-fascist governing organ ZAVNOBIH)|
|-||Independence Day (from the SFR Yugoslavia)||March 1, 1992|
|-||Observed||April 6, 1992|
|-||Total||51,129 km2 (127th)
19,767 sq mi
|-||2009 estimate||4,613,414 (120th5)|
|GDP (PPP)||2008 estimate|
|-||Total||$30.441 billion (100th)|
|-||Per capita||$7,623 (92nd)|
|GDP (nominal)||2008 estimate|
|-||Total||$18.469 billion (99th)|
|-||Per capita||$4,625 (86th)|
|Gini (2007)||30.15 (low)|
|HDI (2008)||▲ 0.812 (high) (76th)|
|Currency||Convertible Mark (
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|-||Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Drives on the||right|
|1||Not a government member; the High Representative is an international civilian peace implementation overseer with authority to dismiss elected and non-elected officials and enact legislation|
|2||Current presidency Chair; Bosniak.|
|3||Current presidency member; Serb.|
|4||Current presidency member; Croat.|
|5||Rank based on 2007 UN estimate of de facto population.|
Bosnia and Herzegovina (pronounced /ˈbɒzni.ə (ænd) hɜrtsɨˈɡoʊvɨnə/ ( listen) or /ˌhɜrtsɨɡoʊˈviːnə/ (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian Latin: Bosna i Hercegovina; Serbian Cyrillic: Босна и Херцеговина) is a country in South-East Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina (also: Bosnia-Herzegovina/Bosnia and Hercegovina) is almost landlocked, except for 26 kilometres (16 miles) of Adriatic Sea coastline, centered on the town of Neum. The interior of the country is mountainous centrally and to the south, hilly in the northwest, and flatland in the northeast. Inland is the larger geographic region with a moderate continental climate, marked by hot summers and cold, snowy winters. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plane topography.
The country is home to three ethnic groups so-called "constituent peoples", a term unique for Bosnia-Herzegovina. These are: Bosniaks, the largest population group of three, with Bosnian Serbs in second and Bosnian Croats in third. Regardless of ethnicity, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina is often identified in English as a Bosnian. The term Herzegovinian is maintained as a regional rather than ethnic distinction, while Herzegovina has no precisely defined borders of its own. The country is politically decentralized and comprises two governing entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, with District Brčko.
Formerly one of the six federal units constituting the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina gained its independence during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Bosnia and Herzegovina can be described as a Parliamentary democracy that is transforming its economy into a market-oriented system, and it is a potential candidate for membership in the European Union and NATO. Additionally, the nation has been a member of the Council of Europe since 24 April 2002 and a founding member of the Mediterranean Union upon its establishment on 13 July 2008.
Bosnia has been inhabited since at least the Neolithic age. The earliest Neolithic population became known in the Antiquity as the Illyrians. Celtic migrations in the fourth century BC were also notable. Concrete historical evidence for this period is scarce, but overall it appears that the region was populated by a number of different peoples speaking distinct languages. Conflict between the Illyrians and Romans started in 229 BC, but Rome would not complete its annexation of the region until AD 9.
It was precisely in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina that Rome fought one of the most difficult battles in its history since the Punic Wars, as described by the Roman historian Seutonius. This was the Roman campaign against the revolt of indigenous communities from Illyricum, known in history as the Great Illyrian Revolt, known also as Pannonian revolt, or Bellum Batonianum, the latter named after the name of two leaders of the revolting Illyrian communities, Bato/Baton of the Daesitiates, and Bato of the Breuci. The Great Illyrian revolt was a revolt of Illyrians against the Romans, more specifically Illyrian revolt against Tiberius' attempt to recruit Illyrians for his war against the Germans. The Illyrians put up a fierce resistance to the most powerful army on earth at the time (the Roman Army) for four years (AD 6 to AD 9). The revolting Illyrians were finally subdued by Rome in AD 9, with Roman side suffering heavy losses. The last Illyrian stronghold, in which Illyrian defence caused admiration of Roman historians is said to have been Arduba. Bato of Daesitiates was captured and taken to Italy. It is alleged that when Tiberius asked Bato and the Daesitiates why they had rebelled, Baton was reputed to have answered: "You Romans are to blame for this; for you send as guardians of your flocks, not dogs or shepherds, but wolves." Bato spent the rest of his life in the Italian town of Ravenna.
The land was originally part of the Illyria up until the Roman occupation. Following the split of the Roman Empire between 337 and 395, Dalmatia and Pannonia became parts of the Western Roman Empire. Some claim that the region was conquered by the Ostrogoths in 455. It subsequently changed hands between the Alans and Huns. By the sixth century, Emperor Justinian had reconquered the area for the Byzantine Empire. The Illyrians were conquered by the Avars in the sixth century.
Modern knowledge of the political situation in the west Balkans during the Early Middle Ages is patchy and confusing. Upon their arrival, the Slavs brought with them a tribal social structure which probably fell apart and gave way to Feudalism only with Frankish penetration into the region in the late ninth century. It was also around this time that the Illyrians were Christianized. Bosnia and Herzegovina, because of its geographic position and terrain, was probably one of the last areas to go through this process, which presumably originated from the urban centers along the Dalmatian coast. Nothing is known on the governing affairs in the ninth and tenth century, but by the High Middle Ages political circumstance led to the area being contested between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Byzantine Empire. Following another shift of power between the two in the early twelfth century, Bosnia found itself outside the control of both and emerged as an independent state under the rule of local bans.
The first Bosnian monarch was Ban Borič. The second was Ban Kulin whose rule marked the start of a controversy with the Bosnian Church, an indigenous Christian sect considered heretical by the Roman Catholic church, which he allowed access in the country. In response to Hungarian attempts to use church politics regarding the issue as a way to reclaim sovereignty over Bosnia, Kulin held a council of local church leaders to renounce the heresy and embraced Catholicism in 1203. Despite this, Hungarian ambitions remained unchanged long after Kulin's death in 1204, waning only after an unsuccessful invasion in 1254.
Bosnian history from then until the early fourteenth century was marked by the power struggle between the Šubić and Kotromanić families. This conflict came to an end in 1322, when Stephen II Kotromanić became Ban. By the time of his death in 1353, he was successful in annexing territories to the north and west, as well as Zahumlje and parts of Dalmatia. He was succeeded by his nephew Tvrtko who, following a prolonged struggle with nobility and inter-family strife, gained full control of the country in 1367. Tvrtko crowned himself on 26 October 1377 as Stephen Tvrtko I the King of Rascia, Bosnia, Dalmatia, Croatia, the Seaside.
Based on archaeological evidence, he was crowned in the in Mile near Visoko in the church which was built in the time of Stephen II Kotromanić's reign, where he was also buried alongside his uncle Stjepan II. Following his death in 1391 however, Bosnia fell into a long period of decline. The Ottoman Empire had already started its conquest of Europe and posed a major threat to the Balkans throughout the first half of the fifteenth century. Finally, after decades of political and social instability, the Kingdom of Bosnia ceased to exist in 1463.
The Ottoman conquest of Bosnia marked a new era in the country's history and introduced drastic changes in the political and cultural landscape of the region. Although the kingdom had been crushed and its high nobility executed and replaced by elite Sephardic Jews inported from Spain in 1492 who quickly converted to Islam in exchange for nobility titles of Beys and Aghas, the Ottomans allowed for the preservation of Bosnia's identity by incorporating it as an integral province of the Ottoman Empire with its historical name and territorial integrity — a unique case among subjugated states in the Balkans. Also unique was the fact that they leveled to the ground virtually all of Bosnia's 500 castles and forts, destroying evidence of its statehood. Within of Bosnia, the Ottomans introduced a number of key changes in the territory's socio-political administration; including a new landholding system, a reorganization of administrative units, and a complex system of social differentiation by class and religious affiliation.
The three centuries of Ottoman rule also had a drastic impact on Bosnia's population make-up, which changed several times as a result of the empire's conquests, frequent wars with European powers, forced and economimc migrations, and epidemics. A native Slavic-speaking Muslim community emerged and eventually became the largest of the ethno-religious groups (mainly as a result of a gradually rising number of conversions to Islam), and conversions-for-gain. The Bosnian Christian communities also experienced major changes. The Bosnian Franciscans (and the Catholic population as a whole) were to some minor extent protected by official imperial decree. The Orthodox community in Bosnia – initially confined to Herzegovina and Podrinje – spread throughout the country during this period and went on to experience relative prosperity until the nineteenth century. Meanwhile, the schismatic Bosnian Church disappeared altogether.
As the Ottoman Empire continued their rule in the Balkans (Rumelia), Bosnia was somewhat relieved of the pressures of being a frontier province, and experienced a period of general welfare. A number of cities, such as Sarajevo and Mostar, were established and grew into regional centers of trade and urban culture and were then visited by Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi in 1648. Within these cities, various Ottoman Sultans financed the construction of many works of Bosnian architecture such as the country's first library in Sarajevo, madrassa's, school of Sufi philosophy, and clock tower (Sahat Kula), along with numerous other important cultural structures, bridges such as the Stari Most and the Tsar's Mosque and the Gazi Husrev-beg's Mosque. Furthermore, some Bosnians played influential roles in the Ottoman Empire's cultural and political history during this time. Bosnian recruits formed a large component of the Ottoman ranks in the battles of Mohács and Krbava field, while numerous other Bosnians rose through the ranks of the Ottoman military to occupy the highest positions of power in the Empire, including admirals such as Matrakçı Nasuh; generals such as Isa-Beg Isaković, Gazi Husrev-beg and Telli Hasan Pasha; administrators such as Ferhat-paša Sokolović and Osman Gradaščević; and Grand Viziers such as the influential Mehmed Paša Sokolović. Some Bosnians emerged as Sufi mystics, scholars such as Ali Džabič; and poets in the Turkish, Albanian, Arabic, and Persian languages.
However, by the late seventeenth century the Empire's military misfortunes caught up with the country, and the conclusion of the Great Turkish War with the treaty of Karlowitz in 1699 once again made Bosnia the Empire's westernmost province. The following century was marked by further military failures, numerous revolts within Bosnia, and several outbursts of plague. The Porte's false efforts at modernizing the Ottoman state were met with distrust growing to become great hostility in Bosnia, where local aristocrats stood to lose much through the proposed reforms. This, combined with frustrations over political concessions to nascent Christian states in the east, culminated in a famous and ultimately unsuccessful revolt by Husein Gradaščević, in 1831 after the Turkish Sultan Mahmud II slaughtered and abolished the Janissary. Related rebellions would be extinguished by 1850, but the situation continued to deteriorate. Later agrarian unrest eventually sparked the Herzegovinian rebellion, a widespread peasant uprising, in 1875. The conflict rapidly spread and came to involve several Balkan states and Great Powers, a situation which eventually forced the Ottomans to cede administration of the country to Austria-Hungary through the treaty of Berlin in 1878.
Although an Austro-Hungarian side quickly came to an agreement with Bosniaks, tensions remained in certain parts of the country (particularly south) and a mass emigration of predominantly Slavic dissidents occurred. However, a state of relative stability was reached soon enough and Austro-Hungarian authorities were able to embark on a number of social and administrative reforms which intended to make Bosnia and Herzegovina into a "model colony". With the aim of establishing the province as a stable political model that would help dissipate rising South Slav nationalism, Habsburg rule did much to codify laws, to introduce new political practices, and generally to provide for modernisation. The Austro-Hungarian Empire built the three Roman Catholic churches in Sarajevo and these three churches are among only 20 Catholic churches in the state of Bosnia. Although successful economically, Austro-Hungarian policy – which focused on advocating the ideal of a pluralist and multi-confessional Bosnian nation (largely favored by the Muslims) – failed to curb the rising tides of nationalism. The concept of Croat and Serb nationhood had already spread to Bosnia and Herzegovina's Catholics and Orthodox communities from neighboring Croatia and Serbia in the mid-nineteenth century under the Ottomans, and was too well entrenched to allow for the widespread acceptance of a parallel idea of Bosnian nationhood. By the latter half of the 1910s, nationalism was an integral factor of Bosnian politics, with national political parties corresponding to the three groups dominating elections.
The idea of a unified South Slavic state, typically expected to be spear-headed by independent Serbia, became a popular political ideology in the region at this time, including in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Austro-Hungarian government's decision to annex Bosnia and Herzegovina formally in 1908 added to a sense of urgency among these nationalists. Russia opposed this annexation. Eventually Russia recognised Austro-Hungary's sovereignty over Bosnia in return for Austria-Hungary's promise that it would recognise Russia's right to the Dardanelles Straits in the Ottoman Empire. Unlike Russia, Austro-Hungary did not keep its side of the bargain and did nothing to encourage Russia's recognition of the straits. The political tensions caused by all this culminated on 28 June 1914, when Serb nationalist youth Gavrilo Princip assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo — an event that proved to be the spark that set off World War I. Although some Bosnians died serving in the armies of the various warring states, Bosnia and Herzegovina itself managed to escape the conflict relatively unscathed.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
This article is part of a series
|Austro-Hungarian condominium of Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Kingdom of Yugoslavia|
|World War II|
|Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
(Socialist Republic of
Bosnia and Herzegovina)
|War in Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
Bosnia and Herzegovina Portal
Following the war, Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the South Slav kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (soon renamed Yugoslavia). Political life in Bosnia at this time was marked by two major trends: social and economic unrest over property redistribution, and formation of several political parties that frequently changed coalitions and alliances with parties in other Yugoslav regions. The dominant ideological conflict of the Yugoslav state, between Croatian regionalism and Serbian centralization, was approached differently by Bosnia's major ethnic groups and was dependent on the overall political atmosphere. Even though there were over three million Bosnians in Yugoslavia, outnumbering Slovenes and Montenegrins combined, Bosnian nationhood was denied by the new Kingdom. Although the initial split of the country into 33 oblasts erased the presence of traditional geographic entities from the map, the efforts of Bosnian politicians such as Mehmed Spaho ensured that the six oblasts carved up from Bosnia and Herzegovina corresponded to the six sanjaks from Ottoman times and, thus, matched the country's traditional boundary as a whole.
The establishment of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929, however, brought the redrawing of administrative regions into banates or banovinas that purposely avoided all historical and ethnic lines, removing any trace of a Bosnian entity. Serbo-Croat tensions over the structuring of the Yugoslav state continued, with the concept of a separate Bosnian division receiving little or no consideration. The famous Cvetković-Maček Agreement that created the Croatian banate in 1939 encouraged what was essentially a partition of Bosnia between Croatia and Serbia. However, outside political circumstances forced Yugoslav politicians to shift their attention to the rising threat posed by Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany. Following a period that saw attempts at appeasement, the signing of the Tripartite Treaty, and a coup d'état, Yugoslavia was finally invaded by Germany on 6 April 1941.
Once the kingdom of Yugoslavia was conquered by Nazi forces in World War II, all of Bosnia was ceded to the Independent State of Croatia. The Croat leaders embarked on a campaign of extermination of Serbs, Jews, Roma, communist and large numbers of Tito's Partisans by setting up a number of death camps. Around 80,000 were killed in Jasenovac camp including 7,000 children. Many Serbs in the area took up arms and joined the Chetniks; a nationalist and royalist resistance movement that primarily conducted guerrilla warfare against the communist Partisans and Bosnian Muslim civilians. Though initially fighting against the Nazis, the Chetnik leadership was instructed by the exiled king to fight instead the Partisans. The Chetniks received initial support from the Allies . Most Chetniks were Serbs and Montenegrins. They committed acts of ethnic cleansing against Bosnian Muslims, mostly in Eastern Bosnia.
Starting in 1941, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia under the leadership of the Croatian Josip Broz Tito organized its own multi-ethnic resistance group, the Partisans, who fought against both Axis and Chetnik forces. On 25 November 1943 the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia with Tito at its helm held a founding conference in Jajce where Bosnia and Herzegovina was reestablished as a republic within the Yugoslavian federation in its Habsburg borders. Military success eventually prompted the Allies to support the Partisans, but Josip Broz Tito declined their offer to help and relied on his own forces instead. All the major military offensives by the antifascist movement of Yugoslavia against Nazis and their local supporters were conducted in Bosnia-Herzegovina and its peoples bore the brunt of fighting. Eventually the end of the war resulted in the establishment of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with the constitution of 1946 officially making Bosnia and Herzegovina one of six constituent republics in the new state.
Because of its central geographic position within the Yugoslavian federation, post-war Bosnia was strategically selected as a base for the development of the military defense industry. This contributed to a large concentration of arms and military personnel in Bosnia; a significant factor in the war that followed the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. However, Bosnia's existence within Yugoslavia, for the large part, was peaceful and prosperous. Though considered a political backwater of the federation for much of the 50s and 60s, the 70s saw the ascension of a strong Bosnian political elite fueled in part by Tito's leadership in the Non-Aligned Movement and Bosniacs serving in Yugoslavia's diplomatic corps. While working within the communist system, politicians such as Džemal Bijedić, Branko Mikulić and Hamdija Pozderac reinforced and protected the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina Their efforts proved key during the turbulent period following Tito's death in 1980, and are today considered some of the early steps towards Bosnian independence. However, the republic hardly escaped the increasingly nationalistic climate of the time unscathed. With the fall of the Soviet Union and the start of the break-up of Yugoslavia, the old communist doctrine of tolerance began to lose its potency, creating an opportunity for nationalist elements in the society to spread their influence.
The 1990 parliamentary elections led to a national assembly dominated by three ethnically based parties, which had formed a loose coalition to oust the communists from power. Croatia and Slovenia's subsequent declarations of independence and the warfare that ensued placed Bosnia and Herzegovina and its three constituent peoples in an awkward position. A significant split soon developed on the issue of whether to stay with the Yugoslav federation (overwhelmingly favored among Serbs) or seek independence (overwhelmingly favored among Bosniaks and Croats). The Serb members of parliament, consisting mainly of the Serb Democratic Party members, abandoned the central parliament in Sarajevo, and formed the Assembly of the Serb People of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 24 October 1991, which marked the end of the tri-ethnic coalition that governed after the elections in 1990. This Assembly established the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 9 January 1992, which became Republika Srpska in August 1992. On 18 November 1991, the party branch in Bosnia and Herzegovina of the ruling party in the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), proclaimed the existence of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, as a separate "political, cultural, economic and territorial whole," on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Croat Defence Council (HVO) as its military part. The Bosnian government did not recognize it. The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared Herzeg-Bosnia illegal, first on 14 September 1992 and again on 20 January 1994.
A declaration of Bosnia and Herzegovina sovereignty in October 1991 was followed by a referendum for independence from Yugoslavia in February and March 1992 boycotted by the great majority of the Serbs. The turnout in the independence referendum was 63.4 per cent and 99.7 per cent of voters voted for independence. Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence shortly afterwards. Following a tense period of escalating tensions and sporadic military incidents, open warfare began in Sarajevo on April 6.
Secret discussions between Franjo Tuđman and Slobodan Milošević on the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina between Serbia and Croatia were held as early as March 1991 known as Karađorđevo agreement. Following the declaration of independence of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbs attacked different parts of the country. The state administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina effectively ceased to function having lost control over the entire territory. The Serbs wanted all lands where Serbs had a majority, eastern and western Bosnia. The Croats and their leader Franjo Tuđman also aimed at securing parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina as Croatian. The policies of the Republic of Croatia and its leader Franjo Tuđman towards Bosnia and Herzegovina were never totally transparent and always included Franjo Tuđman’s ultimate aim of expanding Croatia’s borders. Bosnian Muslims, the only ethnic group loyal to the Bosnian government, were an easy target, because the Bosnian government forces were poorly equipped and unprepared for the war.
International recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina increased diplomatic pressure for the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) to withdraw from the republic's territory which they officially did. However, in fact, the Bosnian Serb members of JNA simply changed insignia, formed the Army of Republika Srpska, and continued fighting. Armed and equipped from JNA stockpiles in Bosnia, supported by volunteers and various paramilitary forces from Serbia, and receiving extensive humanitarian, logistical and financial support from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Republika Srpska's offensives in 1992 managed to place much of the country under its control.
Initially, the Serb forces attacked the non-Serb civilian population in Eastern Bosnia. Once towns and villages were securely in their hands, the Serb forces – military, police, the paramilitaries and, sometimes, even Serb villagers – applied the same pattern: Bosniak houses and apartments were systematically ransacked or burnt down, Bosniak civilians were rounded up or captured, and sometimes beaten or killed in the process. 2.2 million refugees were displaced by the end of the war (of all three nationalities). Men and women were separated, with many of the men detained in the camps. The women were kept in various detention centres where they had to live in intolerably unhygienic conditions, where they were mistreated in many ways including being raped repeatedly. Serb soldiers or policemen would come to these detention centres, select one or more women, take them out and rape them.
In June 1992 the focus switched to Novi Travnik and Gornji Vakuf where the Croat Defence Council (HVO) efforts to gain control were resisted. On 18 June 1992 the Bosnian Territorial Defence in Novi Travnik received an ultimatum from the HVO which included demands to abolish existing Bosnia and Herzegovina institutions, establish the authority of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia and pledge allegiance to it, subordinate the Territorial Defense to the HVO and expel Muslim refugees, all within 24 hours. The attack was launched on June 19. The elementary school and the Post Office were attacked and damaged. Gornji Vakuf was initially attacked by Croats on 20 June 1992, but the attack failed. The Graz agreement caused deep division inside the Croat community and strengthened the separation group, which led to the conflict with Bosniaks. One of the primary pro-union Croat leaders, Blaž Kraljević (leader of the HOS armed group) was killed by HVO soldiers in August 1992, which severely weakened the moderate group who hoped to keep the Bosnian Croat alliance alive. The situation became more serious in October 1992 when Croat forces attacked Bosniak population in Prozor.According to Jadranko Prlić indictment, HVO forces cleansed most of the Muslims from the town of Prozor and several surrounding villages. In the same time, Croats from the towns of Konjic and Bugojno were forced to abandon their homes, while many of them were killed or held in concentration camps. Alliance between Croats and Muslims broke and most of the Croats were forced to abandon cities with Muslim majority (Sarajevo, Zenica).
By 1993, when an armed conflict erupted between the predominantly Bosniak government in Sarajevo and the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, about 70% of the country was controlled by Republika Srpska. Ethnic cleansing and civil rights violations against non-Serbs were rampant in these areas. DNA teams have been used to collect evidence of the atrocities committed by Serbian forces during these campaigns. One single most prominent example is the Srebrenica Massacre, ruled genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. An estimated 200,000 Bosnians were killed by the Serbian political authorities. In March 1994, the signing of the Washington Accords between the leaders of the republican government and Herzeg-Bosnia led to the creation of a joint Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which absorbed the territory of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia and that held by the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Federation soon liberated the small Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia.
A NATO bombing campaign began in August, 1995, against the Army of Republika Srpska, after the Srebrenica massacre. Meanwhile, a ground offensive by the allied forces of Croatia and Bosnia, based on the treaty in Split by Tudjman and Izetbegović, pushed the Serbs away from territories held in western Bosnia which paved the way to negotiations. In December 1995, the signing of the Dayton Agreement in Dayton, Ohio by the presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Alija Izetbegović), Croatia (Franjo Tuđman), and Serbia (Slobodan Milošević) brought a halt to the fighting, roughly establishing the basic structure of the present-day state. The number of identified victims is currently at 97,207, and the recent research estimates the total number to be less than 110,000 killed (civilians and military), and 1.8 million displaced. This is being addressed by the International Commission on Missing Persons.
The Bosnian government charged Serbia of complicity in genocide in Bosnia during the war at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling of 26 February 2007 effectively determined the war's nature to be international, though exonerating Serbia of direct responsibility for the genocide committed by Serb forces of Republika Srpska. The ICJ concluded, however, that Serbia failed to prevent genocide committed by Serb forces and failed to punish those who carried out the genocide, especially general Ratko Mladić, and bring them to justice.
The judges ruled that the criteria for genocide with the specific intent (dolus specialis) to destroy Bosnian Muslims were met only in Srebrenica or Eastern Bosnia in 1995. The court concluded that the crimes committed during the 1992–1995 war, may amount to crimes against humanity according to the international law, but that these acts did not, in themselves, constitute genocide. The Court further decided that, following Montenegro's declaration of independence in May 2006, Serbia was the only respondent party in the case, but that "any responsibility for past events involved at the relevant time the composite State of Serbia and Montenegro".
There are a number of different estimates as to casualties in the Bosnian war, the totals usually include those killed within the laws of war as well as those killed unlawfully during the same period. Some of the figures for those killed unlawfully have been published as part of the trials of those found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. For example the ICTY has stated that 102,622 were killed during the war and that about 8,000 of those were murdered during the Srebrenica massacre. However the numbers given by different sources vary considerably, for example the Bosnian Government has stated that up to 200,000 people were killed, which is nearly double of the total given by the ICTY.
According to Prof. Steven L. Burg and Prof. Paul S. Shoup, publishing in 1999:
The figure of 200,000 (or more) dead, injured, and missing was frequently cited in media reports on the war in Bosnia as late as 1994. The October 1995 bulletin of the Bosnian Institute for Public Health of the Republic Committee for Health and Social Welfare gave the numbers as 146,340 killed, and 174,914 wounded on the territory under the control of the Bosnian army. Mustafa Imamovic gave a figure of 144,248 perished (including those who died from hunger or exposure), mainly Muslims. The Red Cross and the UNHCR have not, to the best of our knowledge, produced data on the number of persons killed and injured in the course of the war. A November 1995 unclassified CIA memorandumg estimated 156,500 civilian deaths in the country (all but 10,000 of them in Muslim- or Croat-held territories), not including the 8,000 to 10,000 then still missing from Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves. This figure for civilian deaths far exceeded the estimate in the same report of 81,500 troops killed (45,000 Bosnian government; 6,500 Bosnian Croat; and 30,000 Bosnian Serb).
In a statement on 23 September 2008 to the United Nations Dr Haris Silajdžić, as head of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Delegation to the United Nations, 63rd Session of the General Assembly, said that "According to the ICRC data, 200,000 people were killed, 12,000 of them children, up to 50,000 women were raped, and 2.2 million were forced to flee their homes. This was a veritable genocide and sociocide".
Bosnia is located in the western Balkans, bordering Croatia (932 km) to the north and south-west, Serbia (302 km) to the east, and Montenegro (225 km) to the southeast. The country is mostly mountainous, encompassing the central Dinaric Alps. The northeastern parts reach into the Pannonian basin, while in the south it borders the Adriatic. The country has only 20 kilometers (12 mi) of coastline, around the town of Neum in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton. Although the city is surrounded by Croatian peninsulas, by United Nations law, Bosnia has a right of passage to the outer sea. Neum has many hotels and is an important tourism destination.
The country's name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have a very vaguely defined border between them. Bosnia occupies the northern areas which are roughly four fifths of the entire country, while Herzegovina occupies the rest in the south part of the country.
The major cities are the capital Sarajevo, Banja Luka in the northwest region known as Bosanska Krajina, Bijeljina and Tuzla in the northeast, Zenica and Doboj in the central part of Bosnia and Mostar, the capital of Herzegovina.
The south part of Bosnia has Mediterranean climate and a great deal of agriculture. Central Bosnia is the most mountainous part of Bosnia featuring predominate mountains Vlašić, Čvrsnica, and Prenj. Eastern Bosnia also features mountains like Trebević, Jahorina, Igman, Bjelašnica and Treskavica. It was here that the 1984 Winter Olympics were held.
Eastern Bosnia is heavily forested along the river Drina, and overall close to 50% of Bosnia and Herzegovina is forested. Most forest areas are in Central, Eastern and Western parts of Bosnia. Northern Bosnia contains very fertile agricultural land along the river Sava and the corresponding area is heavily farmed. This farmland is a part of the Parapannonian Plain stretching into neighboring Croatia and Serbia. The river Sava and corresponding Posavina river basin hold the cities of Brčko, Bosanski Šamac, Bosanski Brod and Bosanska Gradiška.
There are seven major rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Phytogeographically, Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region and Adriatic province of the Mediterranean Region. According to the WWF, the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina can be subdivided into three ecoregions: the Pannonian mixed forests, Dinaric Mountains mixed forests and Illyrian deciduous forests.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has several levels of political structuring, according to the Dayton accord. Most important of these levels is the division of the country into two entities: Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina covers 51% of Bosnia and Herzegovina's total area, while Republika Srpska covers 49%. The entities, based largely on the territories held by the two warring sides at the time, were formally established by the Dayton peace agreement in 1995 because of the tremendous changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina's ethnic structure. Since 1996 the power of the entities relative to the State government has decreased significantly. Nonetheless, entities still have numerous powers to themselves. The Brcko district in the north of the country was created in 2000 out of land from both entities. It officially belongs to both, but is governed by neither, and functions under a decentralized system of local government. The Brčko district has been praised for maintaining a multiethnic population and a level of prosperity significantly above the national average.
The third level of Bosnia and Herzegovina's political subdivision is manifested in cantons. They are unique to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity, which consists of ten of them. All of them have their own cantonal government, which is under the law of the Federation as a whole. Some cantons are ethnically mixed and have special laws implemented to ensure the equality of all constituent peoples.
The fourth level of political division in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the municipalities. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is divided in 74 municipalities, and Republika Srpska in 63. Municipalities also have their own local government, and are typically based around the most significant city or place in their territory. As such, many municipalities have a long tradition and history with their present boundaries. Some others, however, were only created following the recent war after traditional municipalities were split by the Inter-Entity Boundary Line. Each canton in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of several municipalities, which are divided into local communities.
Besides entities, cantons, and municipalities, Bosnia and Herzegovina also has four "official" cities. These are: Banja Luka, Mostar, Sarajevo, and East Sarajevo. The territory and government of the cities of Banja Luka and Mostar corresponds to the municipalities of the same name, while the cities of Sarajevo and East Sarajevo officially consist of several municipalities. Cities have their own city government whose power is in between that of the municipalities and cantons (or the entity, in the case of Republika Srpska).
As a result of the Dayton Accords, the civilian peace implementation is supervised by the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina selected by the Peace Implementation Council. The High Representative has many governmental and legislative powers, including the dismissal of elected and non-elected officials. More recently, several central institutions have been established (such as defense ministry, security ministry, state court, indirect taxation service etc.) in the process of transferring part of the jurisdiction from the entities to the state.
The representation of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina is by elites who represent the country's three major groups, with each having a guaranteed share of power.
The Chair of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina rotates among three members (Bosniak, Serb, Croat), each elected as the Chair for an eight-month term within their four-year term as a member. The three members of the Presidency are elected directly by the people (Federation votes for the Bosniak/Croat, Republika Srpska for the Serb).
The Chair of the Council of Ministers is nominated by the Presidency and approved by the House of Representatives. He or she is then responsible for appointing a Foreign Minister, Minister of Foreign Trade, and others as appropriate.
The Parliamentary Assembly is the lawmaking body in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It consists of two houses: the House of Peoples and the House of Representatives. The House of Peoples has 15 delegates, two-thirds of which come from the Federation (5 Croat and 5 Bosniaks) and one-third from the Republika Srpska (5 Serbs). The House of Representatives is composed of 42 Members, two-thirds elected from the Federation and one-third elected from the Republika Srpska.
The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the supreme, final arbiter of legal matters. It is composed of nine members: four members are selected by the House of Representatives of the Federation,two by the Assembly of the Republika Srpska, and three by the President of the European Court of Human Rights after consultation with the Presidency.
However, the highest political authority in the country is the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the chief executive officer for the international civilian presence in the country. Since 1995, the High Representative has been able to bypass the elected parliamentary assembly, and since 1997 has been able to remove elected officials. The methods selected by the High Representative have been criticized as undemocratic. International supervision is to end when the country is deemed politically and democratically stable and self-sustaining.
EU integration is one of the main political objectives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it initiated the Stabilisation and Association Process in 2007. Countries participating in the SAP have been offered the possibility to become, once they fulfill the necessary conditions, Member States of the EU. Bosnia and Herzegovina is therefore a potential candidate country for EU accession. The implementation of the Dayton Accords of 1995 has focused the efforts of policymakers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the international community, on regional stabilization in the countries-successors of the former Yugoslavia. Within Bosnia and Herzegovina, relations with its neighbors of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro have been fairly stable since the signing of the Dayton Agreement in 1995.
Bosnia is home to three ethnic "constituent peoples": Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. Tensions between the three constitutional peoples remain high and often provoke political disagreements. A Y-chromosome haplogroups study published in 2005 found that "three main groups of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in spite of some quantitative differences, share a large fraction of the same ancient gene pool distinctive for the Balkan area".
According to the 1991 census, Bosnia and Herzegovina had a population of 4,377,033. Ethnically, 1,902,956 (43%) were Bosniak, 1,366,104 (31%) Serbs, and 760,852 (17%) Croats, with 242,682 (6%) Yugoslavs. The remaining 2% of the population – numbering 104,439 – consisted of various other ethnicities. According to 2000 data from the CIA World Factbook, Bosnia's largest ethnic groups are Bosniaks (48%), Serbs (37%) and Croats (14%). There is a strong correlation between ethnic identity and religion in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Muslims constitute 45% of the population, Serb Orthodox 36%, Roman Catholics 15%, and other groups, including Jews and Protestants, 4%.
Large population migrations during the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s have caused demographic shifts in the country. No census has been taken since 1991, and political disagreements have made it impossible to organize one. Nevertheless, a census has been planned for the year 2011. Since censuses are the only statistical, inclusive, and objective way to analyze demographics, almost all of the post-war data is simply an estimate. Most sources, however, estimate the population to be about four million, representing a decrease of 350,000 since 1991.
Bosnia faces the dual problem of rebuilding a war-torn country and introducing market reforms to its formerly centrally planned economy. One legacy of the previous era is a greatly overstaffed military industry; under former leader Josip Broz Tito, military industries were promoted in the republic, resulting in the development of a large share of Yugoslavia's defense plants but fewer commercially viable firms.
The war in the 1990s caused a dramatic change in the Bosnian economy. GDP fell 75% and the destruction of physical infrastructure devastated the economy. While much of the production capacity has been restored, the Bosnian economy still faces considerable difficulties. Figures show GDP and per capita income increased 10% from 2003 to 2004; this and Bosnia's shrinking national debt being positive trends, but high unemployment and a large trade deficit remain cause for concern.
The national currency is the (Euro-pegged) Convertible Mark (KM), controlled by the currency board. Annual inflation is the lowest relative to other countries in the region at 1.9% in 2004. The international debt was $3.1 billion (2005 est) – the smallest amount of debt owed of all the former Yugoslav republics. Real GDP growth rate was 5% for 2004 according to the Bosnian Central Bank of BiH and Statistical Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
From 1994 to 2008, €5.3 billion were invested in the country.
The top investor countries (1994–2007):
Foreign investments by sector for (1994–2007):
The Bosnian communications market was fully liberalised in January 2006. There are three landline telephone providers, although each one predominantly serves a particular region. Internet penetration is rising, with broadband services including cable and ADSL increasing in popularity. Mobile services are provided by three operators, with nationwide services. Mobile data services are also available, including high-speed EDGE and 3G services.
Lonely Planet, in ranking the best cities in the world, ranked Sarajevo, the national capital and host of the 1984 Winter Olympic Games, as #43, ahead of Dubrovnik at #59, Ljubljana at #84, Bled at #90, Belgrade at #113, and Zagreb at #135. Tourism in Sarajevo is chiefly focused on historical, religious, and cultural aspects. Bosnia has also become an increasingly popular skiing and Ecotourism destination. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the last undiscovered regions of the southern area of the Alps, with vast tracks of wild and untouched nature attracting adventurers and nature lovers. The central Dinaric Alps are favored by hikers & walkers, containing both Mediterreanean & Alpine climates. Whitewater rafting is something akin to a national pastime, with 3 rivers including the deepest river canyon in Europe, Tara River. 
Some of the tourist attractions in Bosnia and Herzegovina include:
Primary education lasts for eight years. Secondary education is provided by general and technical secondary schools where studies last for four years. All forms of secondary schooling include an element of vocational training. Pupils graduating from general secondary schools obtain the Matura and can enroll in any faculty or academy by passing a qualification examination prescribed by the institution. Students graduating technical subjects obtain a Diploma.
The architecture of Bosnia and Herzegovina is largely influenced by four major periods where political and social changes influenced the creation of distinct cultural and architectural habits of the population. Each period made its influence felt and contributed to a greater diversity of cultures and architectural language in this region.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a rich literature, including poets such as Antun Branko Šimić, Aleksa Šantić, Jovan Dučić and Mak Dizdar and writers such as Ivo Andrić, Meša Selimović, Semezdin Mehmedinović, Branko Ćopić, Miljenko Jergović, Isak Samokovlija, Abdulah Sidran, Petar Kočić, Aleksandar Hemon, and Nedžad Ibrišimović. The National Theater was founded 1919 in Sarajevo and its first director was famous drama-play writer Branislav Nušić. Magazines such as Novi Plamen, Most and Sarajevske biljeznice are some of the more prominent publications covering cultural and literary themes.
The art of Bosnia and Herzegovina was always evolving and ranged from the original medieval tombstones called Stećci to paintings in Kotromanić court. However, only with the arrival of Austro-Hungarians did the painting renaissance in Bosnia really begin to flourish. The first educated artists from European academies appeared with the beginning of 20th century. Among those are: Gabrijel Jurkić, Petar Tiješić, Karlo Mijić, Špiro Bocarić, Petar Šain, Đoko Mazalić, Roman Petrović and Lazar Drljača. Later, artists such as: Ismet Mujezinović, Vojo Dimitrijević, Ivo Šeremet, and Mica Todorović amongst others came to rise. After World War II artists like: Virgilije Nevjestić, Bekir Misirlić, Ljubo Lah, Meha Sefić, Franjo Likar, Mersad Berber, Ibrahim Ljubović, Dževad Hozo, Affan Ramić, Safet Zec, Ismar Mujezinović, and Mehmed Zaimović rose in popularity. Ars Aevi a museum of contemporary art that includes works by renowned world artists was founded in Sarajevo.
Traditional Bosnian and Herzogovinian songs are ganga, rera, and from Ottoman era the most popular is sevdalinka. Pop and Rock music has a tradition here as well, with the more famous musicians including Dino Zonic, Goran Bregović, Davorin Popović, Kemal Monteno, Zdravko Čolić, Edo Maajka,Frenkie , Šejla SulejmanovskiDino Merlin and Tomo Miličević. Also, it would be unfair not to mention some of the talented composers such as Đorđe Novković, Esad Arnautalić, Kornelije Kovač, and many pop and rock bands, e.g. Bijelo Dugme, Indexi, Plavi Orkestar, Zabranjeno Pušenje, who were among the leading ones in the former Yugoslavia. Bosnia is home to the composer Dušan Šestić, the creator of the current national anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina and father of singer Marija Šestić, composer Sasa Losic and pianist Sasha Toperich.
Notable Bosnian film-makers are Hajrudin Krvavac-Šiba, Emir Kusturica (known for the Palme d'Or-winning 1985 film When Father Was Away on Business, among others), Mirza Idrizović, Aleksandar Jevđević, Ivica Matić, Danis Tanović (known for the Academy Award– and Golden Globe–winning 2001 film No Man's Land), Ademir Kenović, Benjamin Filipović, Jasmin Dizdar, Pjer Žalica, Jasmila Žbanić, Dino Mustafić, Srđan Vuletić, Aida Begić, among many others.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has produced many athletes. Many of them were famous in the Yugoslav national teams before Bosnia and Herzegovina's independence.
The most important international sporting event in the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the hosting of the 14th Winter Olympics, held in Sarajevo from the 7th to 19 February 1984. Some notable local Olympians were:
The Bosna basketball club from Sarajevo were European Champions in 1979. The Yugoslav national basketball team, which medaled in every world championship from 1963 through 1990, included Bosnian players such as Dražen Dalipagić and Mirza Delibašić. Bosnia and Herzegovina regularly qualifies for the European Championship in Basketball. Jedinstvo Aida women's basketball club, based in Tuzla, has won the 1989 European Championships in Florence.
The Tuzla-Sinalco karate club from Tuzla has won the most Yugoslav championships, as well as four European Championships and one World Championship.
The Bosnian chess team has been Champion of Yugoslavia seven times, in addition to winning four European championships: 1994 in Lyon, 1999 in Bugojno, 2000 in Neum, and 2001 in Kallithea Elassonos. Chess grandmaster Borki Predojević has also won two European Championships: Litochoro (Greece) in 1999, and Kallithea Elassonos (Greece) in 2001.
Middle-weight boxer Marijan Beneš has won several Championships of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslav Championships and the European Championship. In 1978 he won the World Title against Elisha Obed from the Bahamas. Another middle-weight boxer, Anton Josipović won the Olympic Gold in Los Angeles, 1984. He also won Yugoslav Championship in 1982, the Championship of the Balkans in 1983, and the Belgrade Trophy in 1985.
Association football is the most popular sport in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It dates from 1903, but its popularity grew significantly after World War II. At the local level, Sarajevo (1967 and 1984), Željezničar (1972) have both won the Yugoslav Championship. The former Yugoslav national football team has included a number of Bosnian players, such as Josip Katalinski, Dušan Bajević, Miroslav Blažević, Ivica Osim, Safet Sušić, and Mirsad Fazlagić. Today, the team of Bosnia and Herzegovina has modern footballers like Edin Džeko, Zvjezdan Misimović, Vedad Ibišević, Emir Spahić, Asmir Begović, Miralem Pjanić and others. The independent Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team has not qualified for a European or World Championship. Bosnian national teams have struggled to draft the best national players. Many players born in Bosnia and Herzegovina choose to play for other countries because of their ethnic identification and because of higher salaries offered by other teams. For example Mario Stanić and Mile Mitić were both born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but play for Croatia and Serbia respectively. Other internationally famous players from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who have made similar choices, are: Darijo Srna, Mladen Petrić, Neven Subotić, Vedran Ćorluka, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Marko Marin, Zoran Savić, Vladimir Radmanović, Zlatko Junuzovic, Aleksandar Nikolić, Savo Milošević, and Zdravko Kuzmanović.
Bosnia and Herzegovina was the world champion of volleyball at the 2004 Summer Paralympics. Many among those on the team lost their legs in the Bosnian War.
Bosnian cuisine uses many spices, but usually in moderate quantities. Most dishes are light, as they are cooked in lots of water; the sauces are fully natural, consisting of little more than the natural juices of the vegetables in the dish. Typical ingredients include tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, dried beans, fresh beans, plums, milk, paprika and cream called Pavlaka. Bosnian cuisine is balanced between Western and Eastern influences. As a result of the Ottoman administration for almost 500 years, Bosnian food is closely related to Turkish, Greek, and other former Ottoman and Mediterranean cuisines. However, because of years of Austrian rule, there are many influences from Central Europe. Typical meat dishes include primarily beef and lamb. Some local specialties are ćevapi, burek, dolma, sarma, pilaf, goulash, ajvar and a whole range of Eastern sweets. The best local wines come from Herzegovina where the climate is suitable for growing grapes. Herzegovinian loza (similar to Italian Grappa but less sweet) is very popular. Plum (rakija) or apple (jabukovača) alcohol beverages are produced in the north. In the south, distilleries used to produce vast quantities of brandy and supply all of ex-Yugoslavian alcohol factories (brandy is the base of most alcoholic drinks).
|Institute for Economics and Peace ||Global Peace Index||50 out of 144|
|Reporters Without Borders||Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2009||39 out of 175|
|The Heritage Foundation/The Wall Street Journal||Index of Economic Freedom 2010||110 out of 179|
|Transparency International||Corruption Perceptions Index 2009||99 out of 180|
|United Nations Development Programme||Human Development Index 2009||76 out of 182|
|Networked Readiness Index||Networked Readiness Index 2008–2009||106 out of 134|