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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
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: 129 - (28/02/08)

The triple tragedy
Bosnia is a tripartite state, like Iraq. Tragedy has befallen each of their constituent parts. 

In Bosnia's case the three diverse communities fall into a most interesting pattern. Two are Christian, one Catholic, the other Orthodox, the third Muslim. It is a curiosity that the Catholics and the Muslims live in comparative harmony in the Croat-Muslim Republic, while the Orthodox Serbs are an eternal irritant to the body politic as a whole and to themselves in their own Serb Republic, the other constituent republic of the federal state.

The appalling wars in the 1990s in the Balkans left behind devastation and ruin. No more so than in Bosnia. 240, 000 died, a comparable number were maimed and one and a half million were displaced. This has left behind enormous emotional scars. There is no gainsaying what suffering and torment has been involved. 

The Albanian imbroglio
There is now the prospect of another war – as Kosovo goes independent from Serbia, announced on February 17. The chairman of Bosnia's rotating presidency, Zeljko Komsic, made it immediately clear that Bosnia will not be among those countries recognising the independence of the breakaway province.

A Bosnian Serb politician has warned that Kosovo’s independence from Serbia could trigger regional instability and possible unrest in Bosnia’s smaller entity, Republika Srpska (RS). “We believe that this [Kosovo’s independence] is a grave danger for the region in a wider sense, and that it will lead to rising political instability, unfortunately also in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Branko Dokic, a leading member of the Party of Democratic Progress, the junior partner in the Republika Srpska, RS, government. 

Speaking at a news conference in Banja Luka on February 10, Dokic said that Kosovo’s independence may even trigger “possible unrest and street reaction” among people in the RS.

Observers say the PDP has close links with some senior police officers in the RS, and that adds weight to Dokic’s warning. Dokic called on the RS public to “keep a cool head.” He also urged countries around the world not to rush into recognizing Kosovo’s independence, and give Serbia and Kosovo a chance to resolve their dispute through negotiations.

Dokic's concern about possible protests in the RS were echoed by the entity's director of police, Uros Pena, who told a news conference on February 11 that he expected a certain amount of turmoil in case of Kosovo independence.
Because of this, he said that the RS police would in the coming days increase its presence on the streets, step up road checks, and prepare an action plan that would focus on people who are likely to be involved in street demonstrations over Kosovo.

Bosnia is ready to counter any attempts to spread instability after the declaration of independence by Kosovo, its presidency said. Haris Silajdzic, the Muslim member of the three-man inter-ethnic presidency, said the office had intensified contacts and the exchange of security information with international and local officials ahead of the event. 

Bosnian Serbs to go independent too?
In the past Bosnian Serbs nationalists have said that if Kosovo can break away from Serbia, then RS should have the same right to separate from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

However, the Dayton peace agreement, which brought the bloody Bosnian war to an end in 1995 and is the foundation document for Bosnia Herzegovina, does not allow for the separation of any of the entities from the state. 

What is required at this delicate juncture is exceptional statesmanship on all sides. 

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