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Bosnia and Herzegovina Introduction - 2024


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After four centuries of Ottoman rule over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria-Hungary took control in 1878 and held the region until 1918, when it was incorporated into the newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. After World War II, Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY).

Bosnia and Herzegovina declared sovereignty in October 1991 and independence from the SFRY on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by ethnic Serbs. Bosnian Serb militias, with the support of Serbia and Croatia, then tried to take control of territories they claimed as their own. From 1992 to 1995, ethnic cleansing campaigns killed thousands and displaced more than two million people. On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties initialed a peace agreement, and the final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December 1995.

The Dayton Accords retained Bosnia and Herzegovina's international boundaries and created a multiethnic and democratic government composed of two entities roughly equal in size: the predominantly Bosniak-Bosnian Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the predominantly Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska (RS). The Dayton Accords also established the Office of the High Representative to oversee the agreement's implementation. In 1996, the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) took over responsibility for enforcing the peace. In 2004, European Union peacekeeping troops (EUFOR) replaced SFOR. As of 2022, EUFOR deploys around 1,600 troops in Bosnia in a peacekeeping capacity. Bosnia and Herzegovina became an official candidate for EU membership in 2022.

NOTE: The information regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Bosnia and Herzegovina 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Bosnia and Herzegovina 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.