Describe Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian: Bosna i Hercegovina, Cyrillic: Босна и Херцеговина) here.
Where to start? Slovenia and Croatia both managed to declare their independence from Yugoslavia with relatively minimal fuss in Slovenia's case and rather more in Croatia's. The secession of Bosnia-Hercegovina was... something else entirely.
Without getting too involved — partially because it's far too complicated and partially because it's still very sore — there were three ethnic groups living in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosniaks (referred to at the time as "Bosnian Muslims"), Croats and Serbs. As a rough rule of thumb, the Bosniaks wanted independence, the Croats and Serbs wanted their bits of Bosnia to break away and join up with Croatia and Serbia, respectively. Needless to say, that was a recipe for trouble.
They fought. A lot. Eventually, a peace agreement was signed in Dayton, Ohio, which came up with a bit of a compromise that everyone could just about live with.
It goes without saying that the Dayton agreement, while fulfilling its purpose (immediate cessation of hostilities) is nowadays regarded as less than ideal solution in terms of post-war situation, to put it mildly.
The agreement truly satisfied neither of the three sides. The Croats were disappointed as they were left without their own entity and instead they were clumped up with Bosniaks into the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Serbs on the other hand, while heavily favored by the new agreement, were discontent with the arbitration of the Brčko district. Finally, the Bosniaks were embittered by the perceived disregard of human rights violations during the war (most notably that of the massacre at Srebrenica).
The situation was additionally complicated by the fact that the Bosnian constitution failed to recognize any other ethnic group/minority other than the three dominant peoples. This led to the famous case of Sejdić and Finci vs Bosnia and Herzegovina court case.
The Bosnian war gave the world the term ethnic cleansing.
The United Nations didn't cover itself in glory, either, with its "peacekeeping" forces often forced to watch impotently as civilians were massacred. One particularly notorious episode was the fall of Srebrenica.
Technically the nation is divided between the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosniak and Croat) and the Republika Srpska (Serb), with a third, the Brčko District, directly ruled from the central government in Sarajevo, which is simultaneously led by three presidents, each representing a major ethnic group and expected to serve a single four-year term, though one of them would serve as "Chairman of the Presidency", which rotates between the Bosniak, Serb and Croat presidents every eight months.
On a lighter note, on 15.02.2016 Bosnia and Herzegovina applied for membership in the European Union. The application and the eventual membership has many citizens of BIH hoping for a change for the better in terms of politics and economy, though the road to full fledged accesion will be hard (if not the hardest out of all the remaining former Yugoslav countries accesion procedures due to the complicated situation described in this article).
Bosnia in fiction
- Warriors - 1999 BBC miniseries with Ioan Gruffudd about British peacekeepers.
- Force Ten from Navarone (as part of Yugoslavia)
- One episode of Prime Suspect
- One episode of Waking the Dead
- Joe Kubert's graphic novel Fax From Sarajevo
- An episode of 7Days had Frank landing in a California Doubling version
- Behind Enemy Lines, which was also a case of California Doubling, with Slovak scenery as the stand-in
- Michael Winterbottom's Welcome to Sarajevo
- Danis Tanović's war dramedy No Man's Land.
- In the Command & Conquer series, Nod will always rebuild Temple Prime which is located in Sarajevo.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV the protagonist, Niko Bellic, is a Serbian national who was a soldier in The Yugoslav Wars, including some of the actions in Bosnia. He later mentions that he had a brother who died in the Bosnian War.
The Bosnian Flag