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Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a mountainous country in the western Balkans. Its capital is Sarajevo and it was formerly one of the six federal units constituting Yugoslavia. The republic gained its independence in the 1990s and due to the Dayton Accords, it is currently a protectorate of the international community, administered by a High Representative selected by the European Parliament. It is also decentralized and administratively divided into two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the artificial entity calledRepublika Srpska, both part of State of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bosna i Hercegovina
Босна и Херцеговина
(In detail) (Full size)
Nations Bosniaks,
Serbs,
Croats
Official languages Bosnian,
Serbian,
Croatian
Capital Sarajevo
Presidency - Collective Head of State Sulejman Tihić (currently President)
Borislav Paravac
Dragan Čović
Chair of the Council of Ministers Adnan Terzić
High Representative Paddy Ashdown
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 124th
 51,129 km²
 Negligible
Population
 - Total (2002)
 - Density
Ranked 119th
 3,922,205
 78/km²
Independence April 5, 1992
Currency Convertible Mark
Time zone UTC +1
National anthem Intermeco
Internet TLD .BA
Calling code 387

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

History

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 conquested periodically in vasal status by Byzantium and Rome's successors in the West. Slavs settled the region in the 7th century, mixing with original Iliric population which survived only in the mountainous area of Bosnia. The 11th century saw the birth of Bosnian Bogumil kingdom, dominated however by Catholic-ruled Hungary. The medieval banate of Bosnia gained autonomy by the end of the 12th century, and grew into an independent kingdom in 1377. Bosnia remained independent state up until 1463, when Ottoman Turks conquered the region.

During 500 years of Ottoman rule, many Bosnians dropped their ties to Christianity in favor of Islam. Bosnia was under Ottoman rule until 1878, when it was annexed by Austria-Hungary. World War I began with the assassination in Sarajevo organized by Serb nationalists. Following the Great War, Bosnia became part of the South Slav kingdom of Yugoslavia, only to be given to Nazi-puppet Croatia in World War II. The Cold War saw the establishment of the Communist Yugoslavia under Tito, and the reestablishment of Bosnia as a republic within its Ottoman borders.

The Bosnian declaration of sovereignty in October of 1991, was followed by a referendum for independence from Yugoslavia in February of 1992, because of threatening attitude of . The Bosnian orthodox origin population - military supported by neighboring Serbiaand Serb-dominated Yugoslav Army - responded with violence aimed at partitioning the republic along ethnic lines and merging Serb-population dominated areas with SCG. In March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats signed 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 ethinically cleansed Bosnian Serb creation Republika Srpska.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Chair of 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. She/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:

The RS is composed of 5 regions:

The Cantons and the Regions are further subdivided into municipalities.

Geography

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. The country's name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have a very vaguely defined border between them.

Economy

Main article: Economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The privatization in state-owned enterprises is an ongoing process, giving an incentive to investments. In post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are obstacles to such operation as a weak economy, previously complex bureaucratic registration procedures, and generally, inefficient judicial system. International Agency for Promotion of Investments, in co-operation with the international institutions such as the OHR, is working hard to overcome these obstacles. In spite of the difficulties, the interest of foreign investors has increased. The positive indicators relate to the beginning of the privatization of the state owned companies and stable currency with a very low inflation rate. Furthermore, the hope comes from the Stability Pact for South East Europe, which is supported by the international community. The recommended elimination of customs barriers between the Balkans countries is inspiring as well, giving Bosnia and Herzegovina a chance to become a very attractive regional export base, taking into account its very low labour price.

Since direct foreign investments are relatively low in relation to the total economic capacities of the country, the State authorities, at all levels, have been trying to create better conditions for investments. In that sense, it is estimated that in the privatization of the state-owned enterprises the major block of shares or major part in, so called, strategic enterprises are to be sold trough tenders primarily to foreign strategic investors. The aim is to ensure the additional investments, particularly in industrial sector, and strengthen export capacities of domestic enterprises. Simultaneously, reconstructing of enterprises aimed to make them capable for efficient and profitable business operations is likely to be done.

The most attractive sectors for foreign investment are wood production (production of furniture); production of raw materials for the cellulose industry; textiles; food and beverages (incl. tobacco production); tourism, particularly hotel business; cement industry; metal processing; and software development.

Demographics

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 2000 data from the CIA World Factbook, Bosnia is ethnically 48% Bosniak, 37.1% Serb, 14.3% Croat, 0.6% other.

The major cities are the capital Sarajevo, Banja Luka in the northwest, Tuzla in the northeast and Mostar, the capital of Herzegovina.

See also: List of cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Culture

Main article: Culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina

See also:

Miscellaneous topics

External links


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