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BOSNIA AND
HERZEGOVINA

 
  
  

 

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 6,963 5,249 4,800 104
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,540 1,270 1,240 123
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Bosnia & Herzegovina



Update No: 120 - (30/05/07)

An incoherent nation
Bosnia is a curious entity, of which Iraq, with its tripartite divide, is somewhat reminiscent. But of course there are huge differences; the Middle East is not European in the least. Nevertheless the Balkans are not really either, having been under Turkish occupation for so long. They are sui generis, nowhere more so than Bosnia.

The old crack about Naples that it is the only Oriental city without a European quarter could be said as a country about Bosnia. The savagery that was shown on all sides in the 1992-95 civil war was not at any rate in the pacifist tradition of post-1945 Europe.

In the late nineteenth century The King of Thailand (the very same as in The King and I, played in the film by Yul Brynner with Doris Day) was worried that some imperialist power would make off with his country and him, as was in the fashion of the time. He declared it a protectorate of the world, a bright idea de jure, which kept it de facto independent.

Bosnia now has the same de jure status. but it is not de facto independent. It is being run by the international community with a succession of European political figures in the top spot. This is likely to continue for a while, as it has not really settled down to being a coherent nation.

The Srebrenica moment
The latest example of this concerns Srebrenica, a name that will forever be poignant. Serb forces massacred some 8,000 Muslim men and boys after capturing Srebrenica in 1995. The slaughter was the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II and has been legally classified an act of genocide.

The only thing to be said for that genocide is that it so horrified the entire world that it was agreed that something had to be done about it. 

The US in particular intervened and ended the war, with no-one complaining, although it was contrary to international law to intervene in the internal affairs of another state. Common sense prevailed. Richard Holbrooke stitched up the Dayton Agreement, under whose terms Bosnia is now governed.

Sebrenica's Muslim majority council adopted a resolution in April asking for the eastern town to break away from the Serb-run Republika Srpska, of which it has been a part since the end of Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.

Ex-US ambassador to Bosnia appointed Srebrenica envoy 
An international solution is being sought once again. Clifford Bond, former US ambassador to Bosnia, was appointed on May 3rd as a special international envoy to the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, the scene of the worst single atrocity of the Balkan wars.
His appointment by the international community's top representative in Bosnia, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, comes amid heightened tension in Srebrenica between Muslims and Serbs. Bond is to supervise the international community's activities in the Srebrenica region and monitor the political situation, Schwarz-Schilling said in a statement. 

May he have some of the calibre of James Bond to pull his assignment off?

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