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Bosnia and Herzegovina: A collection of pictures from various sources#

Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignity in October 1991 was followed by a declaration of independence from the former Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by ethnic Serbs. This led to an armed fight originally between three parties: Bosniaks, Serbs and Croatian groups, later reduced to basically a fight of ethnic Serbs trying to join Serbia and Bosniaks trying to maintain a coherent country.

This led to a multi-year war culminating in attrocities particularly against Bosniaks (Muslims) by Serbs (Serbian Christian-Orthodox) population. A number of high ranking officers of the former Yugoslave army have been sentenced for crimes of war in de Hague in the meantime. As part of the war, Sarajevo was under siege form 1992-1995, see separate report on the siege. The actual fighting was stopped by the Dayton agreement, but up to today the situation is anything but normal. On the one hand, the peaceful co-existance of Muslims, Christians and Jews (typical for example in Sarajevo) has more or less ended: Sarajevo is now predominantly Muslim, Banja Luka predominantly Christian-Orthodox. However, Bosnia and Herzegowina remain a secular state wehre religion is not the dominating force. What makes the situation frustrating is that the current "constitution" gives equal rights to both groups to the extent that major decisions are only allowed by consensus. That there is an international apparatus above all this as watch dog does not make the situation better. It is clear that a change in the political system is necessary, yet solutions are not in sight.