Bosnia and Herzegovina still has a relatively short history, as it only became independent from the former Yugoslavia 28 years ago (April 5, 1992).
Much has happened over the years in the capital Sarajevo, from the shots in Sarajevo that led to the First World War to the 1984 Winter Olympics and nearly four years of Serb siege in the 1990s. Different religions have lived in the city through the ages and the city is called little Jerusalem.
Our other destination in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the UNESCO-listed city of Mostar. The stone arch bridge, destroyed in the Balkan War and restored in 2004, has always been a symbol of peace connecting the Croatian and Muslim blocks.
Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to countryaah, the current population of Bosnia and Herzegovina is 3,280,830. Bosnia and Herzegovina formally applied for membership in the EU in February. The application was supported by the dominant parties in the nation and in the Bosnian-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but not by those in the Serbian Republic. In September, the EU approved the application and would then decide whether the country met the criteria to become an official candidate country. The road to membership was expected to be long, given the fragile state formation and the great contradictions between the two main parts of the country.
|Land area||51,197 km²|
|Residents per km²||74.9|
|Official language||Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian|
|Income per capita||$ 12,800|
|ISO 3166 code||BA|
|Time zone UTC||+1|
|Geographic coordinates||44 00 N, 18 00 O|
In March, the verdict came against Radovan Karadžić, who was Bosnian Serb president in 1992-96, in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Karadžić was convicted on ten of eleven charges, including for genocide in connection with the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Karadžić was arrested in Belgrade in 2008 and had already been detained for eight years.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the 3-letter abbreviation of BIH stands for the nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in geography.
A disputed referendum was held in the Serbian Republic in September, where over 99% of voters voted to make January 9 an official Bosnian Serb national day. The vote was held even though the Constitutional Court ruled that it violated the Constitution. Both the US and the EU expressed strong opposition and Serbia did not support the initiative. Bosnian critics claimed that the referendum was an exercise in the face of a vote on independence for the Bosnian Serb region. The Bosnian Serbs proclaimed their own state in what was then Yugoslavia on January 9, 1992, during the run-up to the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
When the results of a census carried out in 2013 were published in July, it turned out that the population of the country has decreased by one-fifth – or 824,000 residents – since 1991, the year before the outbreak of war when a census was made in what was then Yugoslavia. The result caused yet another conflict in the country: the Bosnian Serb government refused to recognize the result, claiming that around 200,000 Bosnians actually lived abroad. The official result showed that just over half of the 3.5 million residents were Bosnians. In the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to thereligionfaqs, over 70% were Bosnians, while over 81% of the residents of the Serbian Republic were ethnic Serbs.
Since 1946 one of the six federated republics of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina was particularly violently affected by its dissolution (1991). In the aftermath of independence – proclaimed on April 6, 1992 by the President of the Republic A. Izetbegović, of the Muslim Democratic Action Party (SDA, Stranka Demokratske Akcije) – it became the scene of a bloody conflict, which lasted until November 1995. It was not a war between regular armies: the desire to make the conquered areas ethnically homogeneous prevailed among the nationalists of all sides, with the consequence that the violence was directed in an extremely bloody way against the civilian population, canceling any dialogue and respect for multicultural reality of the country.
The secession had been opposed by the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS, Srpska Demokratska Stranka), which intended to safeguard its relations with Belgrade and other Serbian areas, and rejected the prospect of seeing Bosnian Serbs become a minority in an independent state in Muslim majority ethnic component. On 7 April 1992, with the support of the President of Serbia S. Milošević, R. Karadžić (leader of the SDS), occupied about 70% of the Bosnian territory, proclaimed the birth of the Serbian Republic of B., with its capital Pale. In response, on May 15, the Bosnian Croats self-proclaimed the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, with Mostar as its capital.West and president M. Boban, leader of the Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ, Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica). On the Muslim side, a secessionist faction, led by F. Abdić, declared the Bihać area autonomous. At the end of 1992, only about 9% of Bosnian territory remained under the control of Izetbegović’s government.
UN interposition forces (United Nations Protection Force, UNPROFOR) were deployed in Sarajevo under Serbian siege and in other areas of the country since June 1992, while the international community favored a progressive increase in the military role of NATO which for a year, since December 1995, he deployed the IFOR (Implementation Force). In February 1993 the severity of the violence committed (massacres, mass rape of Muslim women, concentration camps for civilians) led the UN to establish a war crimes tribunal in the former Yugoslavia. 1994, with the first victories of Bosnian government forces backed by Bosnian Croats, marked a first change in the balance of power between the warring factions, while increased US diplomatic pressure led Croat-Bosnians and Muslims to a constitution agreement. of a Croatian-Muslim Federation, signed in Washington on March 18, 1994 by the Croatian president F. Tudjiman and the Bosnian president Izetbegović. During the first months of 1995, the fighting intensified. The most dramatic attack was launched in Srebrenica, which the Bosnian Serbs took on 11 July 1995 after a siege of nearly three years, and where the massacre planned by General R. Mladić claimed about 7,000 victims. In early September, a crushing attack by NATO air forces against the Bosnian Serbs was launched. The downsizing of their positions was accompanied by a gradual advancement of the negotiation process and at the end of October the peace negotiations began in Dayton (USA). On November 21, Milošević for the Serbs, Tudjiman for the Croats and Izetbegović signed a peace agreement (ratified in Paris on December 14) which allowed the cessation of hostilities. Four years of fighting had resulted in the devastation of almost all Bosnian cities, some 200,000 dead, an incalculable number of injured and disabled, and 2,700,000 refugees and displaced persons.
The Dayton agreements effectively confirmed the situation created by the war, providing for the formation of a Bosnian state divided into two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Croatian-Muslim) and the Serbian Republic, and governed by a collegial presidency, consisting of three members (one Muslim, one Serbian and one Croatian), who would be in charge of it in rotation. A NATO – led peacekeeping force was also deployed and a UN High Representative established until 2007. The first general elections took place in September 1996 and Izetbegović was elected president of the collegiate presidency. However, the situation remained critical: the country was governed by 13 Constitutions (of the Bosnia and Herzegovina, of the two entities and of the 10 cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina), had three armies and 4 coins circulated in it (the Bosnian dinar, the Yugoslav dinar, the Croatian kuna and the German mark), to which the convertible mark was added from April 1998. The economy was in chaos and the social repercussions increasingly serious.
The elections held in the following ten years confirmed, with the general preponderance of nationalist parties, a political geography that follows ethnic lines, in a climate of conflict between the various communities: the withdrawal of the mandate in 2001 must also be placed in this context., to the Croatian representative of the collegiate presidency A. Jelavic, in favor of the secession of the Croatian component of the country, the threats of secession advanced in 2006 by the Bosnian Serb leaders in the face of the feared reduction of the autonomy of the Serbian component and above all the rejection by the Parliament of Sarajevo of the draft constitutional charter aimed at reducing the excessive autonomy of the two entities that make up the state.After four years of stalemate in the reform process – focused in particular on the adoption of the Constitution – in the general elections of October 2010 the moderates B. Izetbegović for the Bosnian community and Ž. Komšić for the Croatian community were elected to the tripartite presidency together with the representative of the Serbian community N. Radmanović.The subsequent political reality saw the ethnic political blocs increasingly rooted instead of parties: at the consultations of October 2018, M. Dodik (Serbian community), S. Džaferović (Bosnian community) and Z. Komšić were elected to the tripartite presidency of the country. (Croatian community), while in the country the malfunctioning of the state machinery continues to represent an obstacle to the attraction of investments in the private sector, with negative repercussions on the economy and employment.
In 2008 the process of joining the European Union was started; in September 2016 – given the significant progress in the implementation of the reform program approved by the Bosnian authorities – the EU Council expressed itself in favor of the country’s candidacy.
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
Area of the Old Bridge of Mostar, rebuilt (2005); Mehmed P aša Sokolovi ć Bridge in Vi šegrad (2007).