"Bosna" Bosnia and Herzegovina by miman
Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide: 3,505 reviews and 9,315 photos
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country on the Balkan peninsula of southern Europe with an area of 51,129 km² (19,741 sq. miles), and an estimated population of around four million people.
The country is a homeland to three ethnic "constituent peoples": Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. Regardless of ethnicity, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina is usually identified in English as a Bosnian.
Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the south, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost entirely landlocked, except for 26 km of the Adriatic Sea coastline, centered around the town of Neum. The interior of the country is heavily mountainous and divided by various rivers, most of which are nonnavigable. The nation's capital and largest city is Sarajevo.
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. As a result of the Dayton Accords it is currently administered in a supervisory role by a High Representative selected by the UN Security Council. The country is decentralized and is administratively divided into two "entities", the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. More recently the country has acquired many central institutions (such as ministry of defense, state court etc.) as it takes the jurisdiction back from its entities.
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). A declaration of sovereignty in October of 1991 was followed by a referendum for independence from Yugoslavia in February and March 1992 boycotted by the great majority of Bosnian Serbs. With a voter turnout of 64%, 98% of which voted in favor of the proposal, Bosnia and Herzegovina became an independent state. Following a tense period of escalating tensions and sporadic military incidents, open warfare began in Sarajevo on April 6.
International recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina meant that the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) officially withdrew from the republic's territory, although their Bosnian Serb members merely joined the Army of Republika Srpska. 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. By 1993, when an armed conflict erupted between the Sarajevo government and the Croat statelet of Herzeg-Bosnia, about 70% of the country was controlled by the Serbs.
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. This, along with international outrage at Serb war crimes and atrocities (most notably the genocidal killing of 8,000 Bosniak males in Srebrenica in July, 1995), eventually turned the tide of war. The signing of the Dayton Agreement in Dayton, Ohio by the presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Alija Izetbegović), Croatia (Franjo Tuđman), and Yugoslavia (Slobodan Milošević) brought a halt to the fighting, roughly establishing the basic structure of the present-day state. The three years of war and bloodshed had left between 100,000 and 250 000 people killed and more than 2 million displaced.
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