Portal:Bosnia and Herzegovina

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The coat of arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина, pronounced [bôsna i xěrtseɡoʋina]), abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South and Southeast Europe, located within the Balkans. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city. Bosnia and Herzegovina is bordered by Serbia to the east, Montenegro to the southeast, and Croatia to the north and southwest. It is not entirely landlocked; to the south it has a narrow coast on the Adriatic Sea, which is about 20 kilometres (12 miles) long and surrounds the town of Neum. The inland Bosnia region has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold, snowy winters. In the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest moderately hilly, and in the northeast predominantly flatland. The smaller southern region, Herzegovina, has a Mediterranean climate and mostly mountainous topography.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has been settled since at least the Upper Paleolithic but permanent human settlement traces back to the Neolithic age, during which time it was inhabited by cultures such as Butmir, Kakanj, and Vučedol. After the arrival of the first Indo-Europeans, it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally, politically, and socially, the country has a rich but complex history, having been first settled by the South Slavic peoples that populate the area today from the 6th through to the 9th centuries. In the 12th century the Banate of Bosnia was established, which evolved into the Kingdom of Bosnia in the 14th century, after which it was annexed into the Ottoman Empire, under whose rule it remained from the mid-15th to the late 19th centuries.

The Ottomans brought Islam to the region, and altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country. This was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I. In the interwar period, Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, it was granted full republic status in the newly formed Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, the republic proclaimed independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995 and culminating with the Dayton Agreement.

The country is home to three main ethnic groups or, officially, constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third. A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is usually identified in English as a Bosnian. Minorities, defined under the constitutional nomenclature "Others", include Jews, Roma, Albanians, Montenegrins, Ukrainians and Turks. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. However, the central government's power is highly limited, as the country is largely decentralized and comprises two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, with a third unit, the Brčko District, governed under local government. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina further more consists of 10 cantons.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a developing country and ranks 73rd in human development. Its economy is dominated by the industry and agriculture sectors, followed by the tourism and service sectors, the former of which has seen a significant rise in recent years. The country has a social security and universal healthcare system, primary- and secondary-level education is tuition-free. It is a member of the UN, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Council of Europe, PfP, Central European Free Trade Agreement and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean upon its establishment in July 2008. The country is an applicant for membership to the European Union and has been a candidate for NATO membership since April 2010, when it received a Membership Action Plan. (Full article...)

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The Bijeljina massacre involved the killing of civilians by Serb paramilitary groups in Bijeljina on 1–2 April 1992 during the Bosnian War. The majority of those killed were Bosniaks (or Bosnian Muslims). Members of other ethnicities were also killed, such as Serbs deemed disloyal by the local authorities. The killing was committed by a local paramilitary group known as Mirko's Chetniks and by the Serb Volunteer Guard (SDG, also known as Arkan's Tigers), a Serbia-based paramilitary group led by Željko Ražnatović (aka Arkan). The SDG were under the command of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), which was controlled by Serbian President Slobodan Milošević.

In September 1991, Bosnian Serbs had proclaimed a Serbian Autonomous Oblast with Bijeljina as its capital. In March 1992, the Bosnian referendum on independence was passed with overwhelming support from Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats, although Bosnian Serbs either boycotted it or were prevented from voting by Bosnian Serb authorities. A poorly organized, local Bosniak Patriotic League paramilitary group had been established in response to the Bosnian Serb proclamation. On 31 March, the Patriotic League in Bijeljina was provoked into fighting by local Serbs and the SDG. On 1–2 April, the SDG and the JNA took over Bijeljina with little resistance; murders, rapes, house searches, and pillaging followed. These actions were described as genocidal by the historian Professor Eric D. Weitz of the City College of New York. Professor Michael Sells of the University of Chicago concluded that they were carried out to erase the cultural history of the Bosniak people of Bijeljina. (Full article...)

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Cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Jezdimir Dangić (Serbian Cyrillic: Јездимир Дангић; 4 May 1897 – 22 August 1947) was a Yugoslav and Bosnian Serb Chetnik commander during World War II. He was born in the town of Bratunac in the Austro-Hungarian occupied Bosnia Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. Imprisoned during World War I for his membership of the revolutionary movement Young Bosnia, he subsequently completed a law degree and became an officer in the gendarmerie of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes at the beginning of 1928. In 1929, the country changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1940, Dangić was appointed to lead the court gendarmerie detachment stationed at the royal palace in the capital, Belgrade. During the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, Dangić commanded the gendarmerie unit that escorted King Peter II to Montenegro as he fled the country. In August of that year, the leader of the Chetnik movement, Colonel Draža Mihailović, appointed Dangić as the commander of the Chetnik forces in eastern Bosnia. Here, Dangić and his men launched several attacks against the forces of the Independent State of Croatia (Serbo-Croatian: Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, NDH). Soon after his appointment, Dangić's Chetniks captured the town of Srebrenica from the occupiers. Afterwards, they became largely inactive in fighting the Germans, choosing instead to avoid confrontation. In December, Chetniks under Dangić's command massacred hundreds of Bosnian Muslims in the town of Goražde. In the same month, his Chetniks captured five nuns and took them with them through Romanija to Goražde, where they later committed suicide to avoid being raped.

In January 1942, Dangić ordered his forces to not resist German and NDH troops during the anti-Partisan offensive known as Operation Southeast Croatia. Afterwards, he was invited to Belgrade to negotiate the terms of proposed Chetnik collaboration with the Germans with the head of the collaborationist puppet government in the German-occupied territory of Serbia, Milan Nedić, and the Wehrmacht military commander of the territory, General der Artillerie Paul Bader. Although a deal was struck, it was vetoed by the Wehrmacht Commander in Southeast Europe, General der Pioniere Walter Kuntze, who remained suspicious of Dangić. Despite this, Dangić's Chetniks collaborated with German forces in eastern Bosnia over a period of several months beginning in December 1941. In April 1942, Dangić was arrested when he travelled to occupied Serbia despite promising to operate only within the territory of Bosnia, and was sent to a prisoner-of-war camp in German-occupied Poland. In 1943, he escaped from the camp and the following year participated in the Warsaw Uprising as a member of the Polish Home Army. In 1945, he was captured by the Soviet Red Army and was extradited to Yugoslavia, where he stood accused of committing war crimes. In 1947, he was tried, convicted, sentenced to death and executed by Yugoslavia's new communist authorities. (Full article...)

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Other links:

  • Bosnian National Monument - Muslibegovica House
  • "Bosnia and Herzegovina". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina Economy
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina Map
  • Bosnia News
  • rjecnik.ba English-Bosnian and German-Bosnian On-line Dictionary (in Bosnian, English, and German)
  • The State of Media Freedom in Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Public Service Broadcasting Report by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

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