Almost half of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s population was displaced by the conflict and still today many Bosnians chose to live abroad.
The Bosnian diaspora is concentrated in the USA, Germany, Croatia, Serbia, Austria, Slovenia, Sweden, Canada and Australia. Remittances – money and charity donations – from these former refugees have a significant impact on Bosnia’s economy.
Destruction of historical monuments was a major part of the ‘ethnic cleansing’ which took place during the Bosnian War – mosques and Ottoman-era buildings were particularly targeted. The Dayton Agreement called for cultural heritage to be preserved. The most famous reconstruction is the Stari Most, a 16th century Ottoman bridge in Mostar, which was destroyed by shelling in 1993 but rebuilt and opened again in 2004.
Bosnia continues to function uneasily under the Dayton Peace Agreement – which established two separate entities – a Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb Republic, or Republika Srpska, each of which has its own president, government, parliament, police and other bodies. There is a central Bosnian government and the presidency of this rotates every eight months between a Serb, a Bosniak and a Croat. There is little trust between Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian Muslims and Croats.
Whilst political reconciliation has been challenging, the Bosnian economy has made progress and tourism is growing rapidly.
Since the Dayton Agreement the rest of the former Yugoslavia has continued to change rapidly. By 1998 the situation in Kosovo, an Albanian majority autonomous province of Serbia, had descended into war. NATO bombed Serbia after Milošević refused to agree to peace accords. Around a million ethnic Albanians fled Kosovo during the conflict, but Serbia was forced to withdraw in June 1999 because of the NATO action. Kosovo became independent in 2008.
Milošević lost the Serbian presidential election in 2000 and was extradited to the ICTY in 2001.
Yugoslavia ceased to exist as a country in 2006, when Montenegro gained independence.
For more information:
UK charity providing education and information on the history and culture of Bosnia-Herzegovina, with a special concern for the past and present development of its social, economic, governmental, legal and cultural conditions, organizations and institutions.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is a United Nations court of law that dealt with war crimes that took place during the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990’s. Since its establishment in 1993, it has irreversibly changed the landscape of international humanitarian law and provided victims an opportunity to voice the horrors they witnessed and experienced.
Most Mira – Bridge of Peace is a UK and Bosnian charity working to encourage understanding and tolerance between young people of all ethnic backgrounds in Prijedor area.
The Office of the High Representative (OHR) is an ad hoc international institution responsible for overseeing implementation of civilian aspects of the Peace Agreement ending the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The position of High Representative was created under the Dayton Peace Agreement, and works to ensure that Bosnia and Herzegovina evolves into a peaceful and viable democracy on course for integration in Euro-Atlantic institutions.
Remembering Srebrenica is a British charitable initiative which organises the UK events for the EU-designated Srebrenica Memorial Day, which takes place annually on 11 July.
The Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial Complex was founded in May 2001 as a non-profit organisation that aims to build and maintain the complex in memory of the victims of the Srebrenica genocide.