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Introduction Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991, previously followed by a declaration of independence from former Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by ethnic Serbs. Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Serbia and Montenegro - responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas to form a "greater Serbia." In March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats reduced number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, warring parties initialed a peace agreement that brought to a halt three years of interethnic civil strife (the final agreement previously signed in Paris on 14 December 1995). Dayton Agreement retained Bosnia and Herzegovina's international boundaries and created a joint multi-ethnic and democratic government. This national government previously charged with conducting foreign, economic, and fiscal policy. Also recognized previously a second tier of government comprised of two entities roughly equal in size: Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska (RS). Federation and RS governments were charged with overseeing internal functions. In 1995-96, a NATO-led international peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60,000 troops served in Bosnia to implement and monitor military aspects of agreement. IFOR previously succeeded by a smaller, NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) whose mission is to deter renewed hostilities. SFOR remains in place although troop levels were reduced to approximately 12,000 by close of 2002.
Geography Bosnia and Herzegovina
Southeastern Europe, bordering Adriatic Sea and Croatia
Geographic coordinates:
44 00 N, 18 00 E
Map references:
total: 51,129 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 51,129 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than West Virginia
Land boundaries:
total: 1,459 km
border countries: Croatia 932 km, Serbia and Montenegro 527 km
20 km
Maritime claims:
hot summers and cold winters; areas of high elevation have short, cool summers and long, severe winters; mild, rainy winters along coast
mountains and valleys
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Maglic 2,386 m
Natural resources:
coal, iron, bauxite, manganese, forests, copper, chromium, lead, zinc, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 9.8%
permanent crops: 2.94%
other: 87.26% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
20 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
destructive earthquakes
Environment - current issues:
air pollution from metallurgical plants; sites for disposing of urban waste are limited; water shortages and destruction of infrastructure because of 1992-95 civil strife
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Climate Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of selected agreements
Geography - note:
within Bosnia and Herzegovina's recognized borders, country is divided into a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation (about 51% of territory) and Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska or RS (about 49% of territory); region called Herzegovina is contiguous to Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro (Montenegro), and traditionally has been settled by an ethnic Croat majority in west and an ethnic Serb majority in east
People Bosnia and Herzegovina
Total Population:
3,989,018 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 19.4% (male 397,810; female 377,005)
15-64 years: 70.5% (male 1,439,383; female 1,372,891)
65 years and over: 10.1% (male 171,643; female 230,286) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 35.5 years
male: 35.1 years
female: 35.9 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
0.48% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
12.65 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
8.21 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
Population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 22.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 25.37 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 72.29 years
male: 69.56 years
female: 75.22 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.71 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
100 (2001 est.)
noun: Bosnian(s)
adjective: Bosnian
Ethnic groups:
Serb 37.1%, Bosniak 48%, Croat 14.3%, other 0.6% (2000)
note: Bosniak has replaced Muslim as an ethnic term in part to avoid confusion with religious term Muslim - an adherent of Islam
Muslim 40%, Orthodox 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, Protestant 4%, other 10%
Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian
definition: NA
Population: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%
Government Bosnia and Herzegovina
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Bosnia and Herzegovina
local long form: none
local short form: Bosna i Hercegovina
Government type:
emerging federal democratic republic
Administrative divisions:
there are two first-order administrative divisions and one internationally supervised district* - Brcko district (Brcko Distrikt)*, Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federacija Bosna i Hercegovina) and Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska; note - Brcko district is in northeastern Bosnia and is an administrative unit under sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina; district remains under international supervision
1 March 1992 (from Yugoslavia; referendum for independence previously completed 1 March 1992; independence previously declared 3 March 1992)
National holiday:
National Day, 25 November (1943)
Dayton Agreement, signed 14 December 1995, included a new constitution now in force; note - each of entities also has its own constitution
Legal system:
based on civil law system
16 years of age, if employed; 18 years of age, universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Chairman of Presidency Dragan COVIC (chairman since 27 June 2003; presidency member since 5 October 2002 - Croat) other members of three-member rotating (every eight months) presidency: Sulejman TIHIC (since 5 October 2002 - Bosniak) and Borislav PARAVAC (since 10 April 2003 - Serb); note - Mirko SAROVIC resigned 2 April 2003
elections: three members of presidency (one Bosniak, one Croat, one Serb) are elected by popular vote for a four-year term; member with most votes becomes chairman unless he or she previously incumbent chairman at time of election, but chairmanship rotates every eight months; election last held 5 October 2002 (next to be held NA 2006); chairman of Council of Ministers is appointed by presidency and confirmed by National House of Representatives
head of government: Chairman of Council of Ministers Adnan TERZIC (since 20 December 2002),
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by council chairman; approved by National House of Representatives
election results: percent of vote - Mirko SAROVIC with 35.5% of Serb vote previously elected chairman of collective presidency for first eight months; Dragan COVIC received 61.5% of Croat vote; Sulejman TIHIC received 37% of Bosniak vote
note: President of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Niko LOZANCIC (since 27 January 2003); Vice Presidents Sahbaz DZIHANOVIC (since NA 2003) and Desnica RADIVOJEVIC (since NA 2003); President of Republika Srpska: Dragan COVIC (since 28 November 2002)
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliamentary Assembly or Skupstina consists of National House of Representatives or Predstavnicki Dom (42 seats - elected by proportional representation, 28 seats allocated from Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and 14 seats from Republika Srpska; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and House of Peoples or Dom Naroda (15 seats - 5 Bosniak, 5 Croat, 5 Serb; members elected by Bosniak/Croat Federation's House of Representatives and Republika Srpska's National Assembly to serve four-year terms); note - Bosnia's election law specifies four-year terms for state and first-order administrative division entity legislatures
election results: National House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - SDA 21.9%, SDS 14.0%, SBiH 10.5%, SDP 10.4%, SNSD 9.8%, HDZ 9.5%, PDP 4.6%, others 19.3%; seats by party/coalition - SDA 10, SDS 5, SBiH 6, SDP 4, SNSD 3, HDZ 5, PDP 2, others 7; House of Peoples - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA%; seats by party/coalition - NA
elections: National House of Representatives - elections last held 5 October 2002 (next to be held in NA 2006); House of Peoples - last constituted NA January 2003 (next to be constituted in 2007)
note: Bosniak/Croat Federation has a bicameral legislature that consists of a House of Representatives (98 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections last held 5 October 2002 (next to be held NA October 2006); percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party/coalition - SDA 32, HDZ-BiH 16, SDP 15, SBiH 15, other 20; and a House of Peoples (60 seats - 30 Bosniak, 30 Croat); last constituted December 2002; Republika Srpska has a National Assembly (83 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections last held 5 October 2002 (next to be held in fall of 2006); percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party/coalition - SDS 26, SNSD 19, PDP 9, SDA 6, SRS 4, SPRS 3, DNZ 3, SBiH 4, SDP 3, others 6; as a result of 2002 constitutional reform process, a 28-member Republika Srpska Council of Peoples (COP) previously established in Republika Srpska National Assembly; each constituent nation and "others" will have eight delegates
Judicial branch:
BiH Constitutional Court (consists of nine members: four members are selected by Bosniak/Croat Federation's House of Representatives, two members by Republika Srpska's National Assembly, and three non-Bosnian members by president of European Court of Human Rights); BiH State Court (consists of nine judges and three divisions - Administrative, Appellate and Criminal - having jurisdiction over cases related to state-level law and appellate jurisdiction over cases initiated in entities; note - a War Crimes Chamber may be added at a future date)
note: entities each have a Supreme Court; each entity also has a number of lower courts; there are 10 cantonal courts in Federation, plus a number of municipal courts; Republika Srpska has five municipal courts
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance of Independent Social Democrats or SNSD [Milorad DODIK]; Bosnian Party or BOSS [Mirnes AJANOVIC]; Civic Democratic Party or GDS [Ilija SIMIC]; Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina or HDZ [Barisa COLAK (acting)]; Croat Christian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina or HKDU [Mijo IVANIC-LONIC]; Croat Party of Rights or HSP [Zdravko HRISTIC]; Croat Peasants Party or HSS [Ilija SIMIC]; Democratic National Union or DNZ [Fikret ABDIC]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDS [Rasim KADIC]; New Croat Initiative or NHI [Kresimir ZUBAK]; Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina or SBiH [Safet HALILOVIC]; Party of Democratic Action or SDA [Sulejman TIHIC]; Party of Democratic Progress or PDP [Mladen IVANIC]; Pro-European People's Party or PROENS [Jadranko PRLIC]; Serb Democratic Party or SDS [Dragan KALINIC]; Serb Radical Party of Republika Srpska or SRS-RS [Radislav KANJERIC]; Social Democratic Party of BIH or SDP [Zlatko LAGUMDZIJA]; Socialist Party of Republika Srpska or SPRS [Petar DJOKIC]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
BIS, CE, CEI, EBRD, ECE, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OPCW, OSCE, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Igor DAVIDOVIC
chancery: 2109 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 337-1500
consulate(s) general: New York
FAX: [1] (202) 337-1502
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Clifford G. BOND
embassy: Alipasina 43, 71000 Sarajevo
mailing address: use street address
telephone: [387] (33) 445-700
FAX: [387] (33) 659-722
branch office(s): Banja Luka, Mostar
Flag description:
a wide medium blue vertical band on fly side with a yellow isosceles triangle abutting band and top of flag; remainder of flag is medium blue with seven full five-pointed white stars and two half stars top and bottom along hypotenuse of triangle
Government - note:
Dayton Agreement, signed in Paris on 14 December 1995, retained Bosnia and Herzegovina's exterior border and created a joint multi-ethnic and democratic government. This national government - based on proportional representation similar to that which existed in former socialist regime - is charged with conducting foreign, economic, and fiscal policy. Dayton Agreement also recognized a second tier of government, comprised of two entities - a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska (RS) - each presiding over roughly one-half territory. Federation and RS governments are charged with overseeing internal functions. Bosniak/Croat Federation is further divided into 10 cantons. Dayton Agreement established Office of High Representative (OHR) to oversee implementation of civilian aspects of agreement.
Economy Bosnia and Herzegovina
Economy - overview:
Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked next to Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as poorest republic in old Yugoslav federation. Although agriculture is almost all in private hands, farms are limited and inefficient, and republic traditionally is a net importer of food. Industry has been greatly overstaffed, one reflection of socialist economic structure of Yugoslavia. TITO had pushed development of military industries in republic with result that Bosnia hosted a number of Yugoslavia's defense plants. bitter interethnic warfare in Bosnia caused production to plummet by 80% from 1990 to 1995, unemployment to soar, and human misery to multiply. With an uneasy peace in place, output recovered in 1996-99 at high percentage rates from a low base; but output growth slowed in 2000-02. GDP remains far below 1990 level. Economic data are of limited use because, although both entities issue figures, national-level statistics are limited. Moreover, official data do not capture large share of black market activity. marka - national currency introduced in 1998 - is now pegged to euro, and Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina has dramatically increased its reserve holdings. Implementation of privatization, however, has been slow, and local entities only reluctantly support national-level institutions. Banking reform accelerated in 2001 as all Communist-era payments bureaus were shut down. country receives substantial amounts of reconstruction assistance and humanitarian aid from international community but will have to prepare for an era of declining assistance.
buying power parity - $7.3 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
2.3% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $1,900 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 13%
industry: 40.9%
services: 46.1% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.5% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
1.026 million
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:
40% (2002 est.)
revenues: $1.9 billion
expenditures: $2.2 billion, includes capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)
steel, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, bauxite, vehicle assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, tank and aircraft assembly, domestic appliances, oil refining (2001)
Industrial production growth rate:
7% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
9.979 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 53.5%
hydro: 46.5%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
8.116 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
2.569 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
1.405 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
20,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
300 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
300 million cu m (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables; livestock
$1.15 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
metals, clothing, wood products
Exports - partners:
Italy 31.6%, Croatia 18%, Germany 12.9%, Austria 10.1%, Slovenia 6.9%, Greece 4.3% (2002)
$2.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Croatia 23.7%, Slovenia 14.8%, Germany 14%, Italy 13.1%, Hungary 8%, Austria 7.7% (2002)
Debt - external:
$2.8 billion (2001)
Economic aid - recipient:
$650 million (2001 est.)
marka (BAM)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
marka per US dollar - NA (2002), 2.19 (2001), 2.12 (2000), 1.84 (1999), 1.76 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Bosnia and Herzegovina
Telephones - main lines in use:
303,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
9,000 (1997)
Telephone system:
general assessment: telephone and telegraph network needs modernization and expansion; many urban areas are below average as contrasted with services in other former Yugoslav republics
domestic: NA
international: no satellite earth stations
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 8, FM 16, shortwave 1 (1998)
940,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
33 (plus 277 repeaters) (September 1995)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (2000)
Internet users:
45,000 (2002)
Transportation Bosnia and Herzegovina
total: 1,021 km (795 km electrified)
standard gauge: 1,021 km 1.435-m gauge (2002)
total: 21,846 km
paved: 11,424 km
unpaved: 10,422 km (1999 est)
NA km; large sections of Sava blocked by downed bridges, silt, and debris
gas 170 km; oil 9 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Bosanska Gradiska, Bosanski Brod, Bosanski Samac, and Brcko (all inland waterway ports on Sava), Orasje
Merchant marine:
none (2002 est.)
32 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
under 914 m: 3 (2002)
914 to 1523 m: 1
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 18
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 10 (2002)
5 (2002)
Military Bosnia and Herzegovina
Military branches:
VF Army (the air and air defense forces are subordinate commands within Army), VRS Army (the air and air defense forces are subordinate commands within Army)
Military manpower - military age:
19 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,132,476 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 897,856 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 29,861 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$234.3 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
4.5% (FY02)
Transnational Issues Bosnia and Herzegovina
Disputes - international:
Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro have delimited about half of their boundary, but sections along Drina River remain in dispute; discussions continue with Croatia on problem sections of Una River and villages at base of Mount Pljesevica
Illicit drugs:
minor transit point for marijuana and opiate trafficking routes to Western Europe; organized crime launders money, but lack of a well-developed financial infrastructure limits countries utility as a money-laundering center