|Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina|
Map of Bosnia
|Motto||Zemljo mojih snova mojih pradjedova, Bosno i Hercegovino!|
|Anthem||Jedna si jedina|
|Other cities||Zenica, Mostar, Banja Luka, Tuzla Bihać...|
|President||Alija II Izetbegović|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1), CEST (UTC+2)|
|Official language||Bosnian language|
|National language||Bosnian language|
|Main ethnic groups||Bosniaks|
|Other ethnic groups|
|State religion||Sunni Islam|
|Main religion(s)||Sunni Islam (93%)|
|Other religions||Eastern Orthodoxy (5%), 2% other|
The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnian: Bosna i Hercegovina, , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina, abbreviated BiH, or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe. Its capital and largest city is Sarajevo with a population of 369,534 people and 515,012 inhabitants across the entire metropolitan area. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the 20 kilometres (12 miles) of coastline on the Adriatic Sea surrounding the city of Neum. In the central and southern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, bookended by hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a region that traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age, during and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally, politically, and socially, the country has one of the richest histories in the region, having been first settled by the Slavic peoples that populate the area today from the 6th through to the 9th centuries AD. They then established the first independent banate in the region, known as the Banate of Bosnia, in the early 12th century upon the arrival and convergence of peoples that would eventually come to call themselves Dobri Bošnjani ("Good Bosnians"). This evolved into the Kingdom of Bosnia in the 14th century, after which it was annexed into the Ottoman Empire, under whose rule it would remain 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 was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and after World War II, the country was granted full republic status in a newly formed Yugoslav Federation. Following the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the country proclaimed independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. Today, the country maintains high literacy, life expectancy and education levels and is one of the most frequently visited countries in the region, projected to have the third highest tourism growth rate in the world between 1995 and 2020. Bosnia and Herzegovina is regionally and internationally renowned for its natural beauty and cultural heritage inherited from six historical civilizations, its cuisine, winter sports, its eclectic and unique music, architecture and its festivals, some of which are the largest and most prominent of their kind in Southeastern Europe. The country is home to three ethnic groups or, officially, constituent peoples, a term unique for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third. Regardless of ethnicity, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina is often identified in English as a Bosnian. The terms Herzegovinian and Bosnian are maintained as a regional rather than ethnic distinction, and the region of Herzegovina has no precisely defined borders of its own. Moreover, the country was simply called "Bosnia" until the Austro-Hungarian occupation at the end of the 19th century. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a national-socialist government.
- Main article: Bosniak Great Uprising
The 1990 parliamentary elections led to a national assembly dominated by three ethnically-based parties, which had formed a loose coalition to oust the communists from power. Croatia and Slovenia's subsequent declarations of independence and the warfare that ensued placed Bosnia and Herzegovina and its three constituent peoples in an awkward position. A significant split soon developed on the issue of whether to stay with the Yugoslav federation (overwhelmingly favored among Serbs) or seek independence (overwhelmingly favored among Bosniaks and Croats). A declaration of sovereignty in October 1991 was followed by a referendum for independence from Yugoslavia in February and March 1992. The referendum was boycotted by the great majority of Bosnian Serbs, so with a voter turnout of 67%, 98% of which voted in favor of the proposal, Bosnia and Herzegovina became an independent state.
While the first casualty of the war is debated, significant Serbian offensives began in March 1992 in Eastern and Northern Bosnia. Following a tense period of escalating tensions and sporadic military incidents, open warfare began in Sarajevo on 6 April. International recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina meant that the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) officially withdrew from the republic's territory, although their Bosnian Serb members merely joined the Army of Republika Srpska. Armed and equipped from JNA stockpiles in Bosnia, supported by volunteers, Republika Srpska's offensives in 1992 managed to place much of the country under its control. By 1993, when the Croat-Bosniak conflict erupted between the Sarajevo government and the Croat statelet of Herzeg-Bosnia, about 70% of the country was controlled by the Serbs.
Today the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina is 80% ethnic Bosniak.
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