Bosnia and Herzegovina. In March, the international
community appointed Austrian diplomat Valentin Inzko a new
so-called High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
with the task of overseeing the peace process. According to
succeeded Miroslav Lajcak, who held the post for almost two
years. When US Vice President Joe Biden came to visit in
May, he strongly urged political leaders to work across
ethnic borders so that the country can begin to function as
In June, the envoy Inzko made it clear that it is not
doing so yet: he used his special powers to annul laws
passed in the Serbian Republic of the Republic of Srpska.
According to Inzko, the laws violated the Dayton Agreement,
the peace settlement at the end of the war in 1995. The
Bosnian rebels were allowed to retaliate on no less than 68
points, including control of the judiciary, customs revenue,
foreign trade and police operations.
The stifled contradictions between the country's ethnic
groups created a deadlock that increasingly emerged as the
worst political crisis since the end of the war. From time
to time, the Republican Srpska's leadership threatened with
a referendum to break off its territory. This could lead to
new outbreaks of violence, mainly Bosnians in the other
region, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said. In
October, politicians from both camps gathered for talks
under the leadership of a US representative and the EU,
represented by Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. The
agenda mainly consisted of constitutional changes to
strengthen central power and simplify the complicated
bureaucracy that is a result of compromises in Dayton Peace.
Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić, who was
arrested in Serbia in July 2008, continued to claim that he
had immunity from prosecution at the UN War Crimes Tribunal
in The Hague. Karadžić, who was charged with genocide, war
crimes and crimes against humanity during the 1992-95 war,
refused to stand when the trial against him began in
October. He claimed that he was going to stand for his own
defense, pointing out that he needed time to read the nearly
one million pages of evidence presented by prosecutors.
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Sarajevo
Sarajeʹvo, capital of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina; 300 900
residents (2012). Sarajevo is located in the valley of the Miljacka River and is
surrounded by high mountains. Trebević (1 629 m asl). From being a small town in
the early 1900s, Sarajevo has grown into a modern industrial city with, among
other things, metallurgical and textile and automotive industries.
The city's oriental feel is still noticeable in the city center with the
bazaar block from the Ottoman era and mosques with surrounding detached houses
on the slopes. There are universities (founded in 1946) and a science academy.
Among the buildings are the Gazi Husreff-Bey Mosque of 1530 and the Ali Pasha
Mosque of 1561.
In 1984, the Olympic Winter Games were held in the city. During the Yugoslav
war, large parts of the city were destroyed, especially industrial and
residential areas near the airport.
Traces of settlement date back to the younger Stone Age, but permanent
settlement dates only from 1415, adjacent to a high medieval castle. Like
Bosna Saraj, the city flourished under Turkish rule from 1463, and it
became the administrative center of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1850, which fell
to Austria-Hungary in 1878. On June 28, 1914, the Austrian Archduke Franz
Ferdinand was assassinated by the Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip, World War I.
Of the 9,000 to 10,000 Jews living in Sarajevo in 1941, a significant
proportion of 1941–42 were deported to extermination and concentration camps.
Most of the 2,400 Jews who survived the Second World War took refuge in the part
of Croatia occupied by Italy.
As the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence and was
recognized by the EU countries on 6 April 1992, widespread fighting in Sarajevo
between the Serbian militia and the Federal Yugoslav army on the one hand and
the Muslim and Croat militia on the other. The Serbs soon entered the city,
which, despite extensive shelling, did not fall. The government side
consolidated an approximately 11 km × 6 km area, the city itself except a
district. The UN forces in Sarajevo were completely powerless as their mandate
only applied to Croatia and Sarajevo was chosen as the location for their
headquarters. The humanitarian situation quickly became desperate, with
indiscriminate Serbian shelling, conscious terror and collapsed electricity,
water and food supplies. From the summer of 1992, UN forces took over Sarajevo's
airport and provided food assistance through the city's residents. Countless
ceasefire agreements did not prevent the city from continuing shooting for
twenty-two months. 10,000 deaths are estimated to have been claimed during this
period. Following a grenade attack on a market square, the worst individual
massacre, the UN issued an ultimatum with the threat of NATO air strikes and
forced in February 1994 that heavy weapons were withdrawn from a security zone
around Sarajevo. The battles around the city were muted, but the war was
postponed to other front sections. Sarajevo's situation deteriorated again in
the spring of 1995 and the 1994 agreement became increasingly illusory. In the
early summer, the Bosnian army made an unsuccessful attempt to break the siege,
but was hit back with heavy losses. In August, a marketplace of grenade missiles
was once again hit, and after an ultimatum, NATO flights launched a two-week air
offensive against the Bosnian Serb army. Sarajevo's siege was finalized through
the ceasefire and the Dayton agreement in October and November respectively. In
the spring of 1996, the Serbian-controlled suburbs of Ilidža and Vogošča were
handed over to the Muslim-Croat Federation.
The siege of Sarajevo received a great deal of attention in the news
reporting. Among many Western intellectuals, Sarajevo came to symbolize the
Bosnian war's bestiality and the inability of the outside world to protect the
civilian population, to step in against war crimes and to take a stand for
Bosnia and Herzegovina's integrity as a multi-ethnic state formation. In this
respect, the siege of Sarajevo was often compared to the siege of Madrid during
the Spanish Civil War. However, after the war, the Dayton Agreement's de facto
division of Bosnia and Herzegovina led to Sarajevo not regaining his former
multi-ethnic character. The authorities also showed a keen interest in
facilitating the relocation of Serbian refugees and to curb harassment.