Bosnia and Herzegovina. Small, small steps were taken during the year in Bosnia and Herzegovina towards democracy, market economy and multi-ethnic coexistence. But it will probably take many years before the population – Croats, Muslims (Bosniaks) and Serbs – has reached there. Until then, the international peacekeeping force, SFOR, must remain. Bosnia and Herzegovina must remain an international protectorate, which is strongly controlled by the “high representative” of the international community, currently the Austrian diplomat Wolfgang Petritsch. He has virtually unlimited powers of power, much like a Roman emperor or medieval king. Wolfgang Petritsch and his co-workers had to fight, among other things. smuggling, brother-in-law and corruption.
The city of Brčko and its surroundings, which linked the eastern and western parts of the Republika Srpska into a narrow corridor, gained its final status in March. EU and US leaders announced that Brčko should belong to Bosnia and Herzegovina state law and jointly governed by Serbs, Croats and Muslims. Brčko was left outside the Dayton Agreement in 1995 because the parties could not agree on the matter and the matter was submitted to international arbitration. During the local elections in the spring, the nationalist parties generally strengthened or consolidated their positions, with the exception of the Muslim-dominated cities within the Muslim-Croat Federation, including Sarajevo, Zenica, Maglaj and Tuzla, where the Social Democrats gained a majority.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
Although former Croatian President Franjo Tudjman’s nationalist party HDZ (Hvratska Demokratska Zajednica) suffered a stinging defeat in the parliamentary elections in Croatia at the beginning of the year, it consolidated its position in the Croatian parts of the federation. In Republika Srpska, it was won by the suspected war criminal Radovan Karadžić, the democratic party, SDS (Srpska Democratic stranka). When the Muslim Democratic Action Party, the SDA (Stranka Demokratske Akcije) resigned, especially in the big cities, it was probably because the voters had tired of its mismanagement, corruption and slanderous politics. Parliamentary elections were held in November, and it showed a slightly different pattern. There was almost a dead race between the Social Democrats and the SDA, both of which got just over 25% of the vote while HDZ got close to 20%. A number of smaller non-nationalist parties made a good choice, and Wolfgang Petritsch sought to establish a government where the nationalists were properly winged. However, this did not succeed before the turn of the year. The depth of the gap between the various ethnic groups was illustrated when the Bosnian Foreign Minister Jadranko Prlić visited Stockholm in November for talks with Foreign Minister Anna Lindh.
Jadranko Prlić, who is a Croat and belongs to the hard bank in HDZ, was the Prime Minister of Herceg-Bosna in 1994, which the Bosnian Croats had established in Herzegovina. In the war between Muslims and Croats in 1993–94, particularly bloody battles between Muslims and Croats were fought, and the city of Mostar was divided into a Muslim and a Croat on each side of the Neretva River.
A small step towards political maturity was taken at the end of September when the Social Democratic regime in the city of Maglaj in the north with SFOR’s help in the village of Bozinja drove out the Muslim mujahedin warriors who came to the rescue of the Muslims during the war. The Muslim authorities previously gave the volunteers several villages, from which Serbs had fled or been expelled, and there the soldiers established their own small armed empires. The international community with the High Representative at the head had long requested that the Mujahedin soldiers evacuate the villages so that those who had originally lived there could return.
Shortly before the turn of the year, Bosnia and Herzegovina signed a free trade agreement with Croatia covering both goods and services. At the same time, Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatia met and introduced a visa requirement for Iranian citizens. The reason for this was that hundreds of illegal Iranian immigrants arrive daily in Bosnia and Herzegovina to get to Western Europe through Croatia or Slovenia.
In the spring, Sarajevo boys were pleased to see the first opera since the end of the war. It was a new performance of “Hasanaga’s wife”, which is based on a national romantic poem and takes place during the Ottoman era. The element of Bosnian words of Turkish origin has made it almost sacred among the Balkan Muslims.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2000 was 3,751,065, ranking number 124 in the world. The population growth rate was -0.410% yearly, and the population density was 73.5525 people per km2.