Bosnia and Herzegovina



It geographic location has placed the region squarely in the midst of European political power struggles for hundreds of years. Racial divisions, made worse by ever-changing borders and religious rivalries: Muslim, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodoxy. While Yugoslavia kept the peace under Marshall Tito (and for a time after his death, as well) the fall of Communism signaled the beginning of the end for the tenuous unity of the area. In 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for independence, but the military (of Yugoslavia and mostly Serb) refused to recognize this move and began the siege of Sarajevo. Horrific episodes of so-called "ethnic cleansing" began as the Serbs attempted to clear Bosnia of Muslims and Croats. In 1995, a peace accord was finally signed dividing the region into a Serb republic and a Muslim-Croat federation, which would be governed under the same president and legislature. UN peacekeeping have been in the area since 1995.