Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in the Balkan peninsula, formerly part of Yugoslavia.

Bosna i Hercegovina
Official languages Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian
Capital Sarajevo
President Dragan Čović
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 124th
51,129 km²
 - Total (2002)
 - Density
Ranked 119th
Independence April 5, 1992
Airline1 Air Srpska
Currency Convertible Mark
Time zone UTC +1
National anthem Intermeco
Internet TLD .BA
Calling Code387

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Political divisions
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Miscellaneous topics
9 External links


Main article: History of Bosnia and Herzegovina

For the first centuries of the Christian era, Bosnia was part of the Roman Empire. After the fall of Rome, Bosnia was contested by Byzantium and Rome's successors in the West. Slavs settled the region in the 7th century, and the kingdoms of Serbia and Croatia split control of Bosnia in the 9th century. The 11th and 12th centuries saw the rule of the region by the kingdom of Hungary. The medieval kingdom of Bosnia gained its independence around 1200 A.D. Bosnia remained independent up until 1463, when Ottoman Turks conquered the region.

During Ottoman rule, many Bosnians dropped their ties to Christianity in favor of Islam. Bosnia was under Ottoman rule until 1878, when it was given to Austria-Hungary as a colony. While those living in Bosnia enjoyed the benefits of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, South Slavs in Serbia and elsewhere were calling for a South Slav state; World War I began when Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Following the Great War, Bosnia became part of the South Slav state of Yugoslavia, only to be given to Nazi-puppet Croatia in World War II. The Cold War saw the establishment of the Communist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under Tito, and the reestablishment of Bosnia as a republic within its medieval borders.

The Bosnian declaration of sovereignty in October of 1991, was followed by a referendum for independence from Yugoslavia in February of 1992. The Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Serbia - responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning the republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas." In March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats reduced the number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On November 21, 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties signed a peace agreement that brought to a halt the three years of interethnic civil strife (the final agreement was signed in Paris on December 14, 1995). The Dayton Agreement divides Bosnia and Herzegovina roughly equally between the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska.


Main article: Politics of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina rotates among three members (Bosniak, Serb, Croat), each elected for a 4-year term. 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 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 includes 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.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Political divisions

Main article: Political divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is divided into the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. The district of Brčko is not part of either entity. The Federation is further divided into 10 cantons:

  • Una-Sana
  • Posavina
  • Tuzla
  • Zenica-Doboj
  • Bosnian Podrinje
  • Central Bosnia
  • Herzegovina-Neretva
  • West Herzegovina
  • Sarajevo
  • West Bosnia


Main article:
Geography of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia is located in the Western Balkans, bordering Serbia and Montenegro to the east and Croatia to the north and south-west. The port city of Neum in Herzegovina-Neretva Canton is the only link to the sea.


Main article: Economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Next to Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina was the poorest republic in the old Yugoslav Federation. For the most part, agriculture has been in private hands, but farms have been small and inefficient, and food has traditionally been a net import for the republic. The centrally planned economy has resulted in some legacies in the economy. Industry is greatly overstaffed, reflecting the rigidity of the planned economy. Under Josip Broz Tito, military industries were pushed in the republic; Bosnia hosted a large share of Yugoslavia's defense plants. Three years of interethnic strife destroyed the economy and infrastructure in Bosnia, causing unemployment to soar and production to plummet by 80%, as well as causing the death of anywhere between 60 and 200 thousand people and displacing half of the population. With an uneasy peace in place, output recovered in 1996-98 at high percentage rates on a low base; but output growth slowed appreciably in 1999, and GDP remains far below the 1990 level.


Main article: Demographics of Bosnia and Herzegovina

According to the 1991 census, Bosnia is 44% ethnically Bosniak (then declared as "Muslims"), 31% Serb, and 17% Croat, with 6% people declaring themselves Yugoslav, comprising people from mixed marriages as well as hardcore Yugoslav patriots. There is a strong co-relation between ethnic identity and religion; 88% of Croats are Roman Catholics, 90% of ethnic Muslims practice Islam, and 99% of Serbs are Orthodox Christians.

According to a 1996 census done by the international community, Bosnia is ethnically 46% Bosniak, 38% Serb and 15% Croat.


Main article: Culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina

DateEnglish NameLocal NameRemarks
November 25National Day

Miscellaneous topics

External links

Countries of the world  |  Europe  |  Council of Europe