Background: Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty 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. The Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Serbia and Montenegro - responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning the republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas to form a "Greater Serbia." In March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats reduced the number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties initialed a peace agreement that brought to a halt three years of interethnic civil strife (the final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December 1995). The Dayton Peace Accords retained Bosnia and Herzegovina's international boundaries and created a multi-ethnic and democratic government charged with conducting foreign, diplomatic, and fiscal policy. Also recognized was a second tier of government composed of two entities roughly equal in size: the Bosniak/Bosnian Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska (RS). The Federation and RS governments were charged with overseeing most government functions. The Dayton Accords also established the Office of the High Representative (OHR) to oversee the implementation of the civilian aspects of the agreement. The Peace Implementation Council (PIC) at its conference in Bonn in 1997 also gave the High Representative the authority to impose legislation and remove officials, the so-called "Bonn Powers." In 1995-96, a NATO-led international peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60,000 troops served in Bosnia to implement and monitor the military aspects of the agreement. IFOR was succeeded by a smaller, NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) whose mission was to deter renewed hostilities. European Union peacekeeping troops (EUFOR) replaced SFOR in December 2004; their mission is to maintain peace and stability throughout the country. EUFOR's mission changed from peacekeeping to civil policing in October 2007, with its presence reduced from nearly 7,000 to less than 2,500 troops. Troop strength at the end of 2010 stood at roughly 1,500. In January 2010, Bosnia and Herzegovina assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2010-11 term.
Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Croatia
Area land: 51,187 sq km
Area water: 10 sq km
Coastline: 20 km
Country name conventional long form: none
Country name conventional short form: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Country name former: People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Population: 4,622,163 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 14% (male 333,989/female 313,234); 15-64 years: 71% (male 1,655,669/female 1,625,750); 65 years and over: 15% (male 283,233/female 410,288) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.008% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 8.89 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 8.8 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.074 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female; total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 8.67 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 9.95 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 7.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 78.81 years; male: 75.25 years; female: 82.63 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 1.27 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2007 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 900 (2007 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 100 (2001 est.);
Nationality: noun: Bosnian(s), Herzegovinian(s); adjective: Bosnian, Herzegovinian;
Ethnic groups: Bosniak 48%, Serb 37.1%, Croat 14.3%, other 0.6% (2000);
Religions: Muslim 40%, Orthodox 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, other 14%;
Languages: Bosnian (official), Croatian (official), Serbian;
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 96.7%; male: 99%; female: 94.4% (2000 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $30.44 billion (2010 est.); $30.23 billion (2009 est.); $31.23 billion (2008 est.);
GDP (official exchange rate): $16.32 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 0.7% (2010 est.); -3.2% (2009 est.); 5.7% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $6,600 (2010 est.); $6,600 (2009 est.); $6,800 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 6.5%; industry: 28.4%; services: 65.1% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 18.6% (2007 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.8%; highest 10%: 27.4% (2004);
Labor force: 2.6 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 20.5%; industry: 32.6%; services: 47% (2008);
Unemployment rate: 43.1% (2010 est.); 44.2% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $7.75 billion; expenditures: $7.82 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: steel, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, bauxite, aluminum, vehicle assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, ammunition, domestic appliances, oil refining;
Industrial production growth rate: 1.6% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 14.58 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 10.8 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - exports: 3.9 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - imports: 1.2 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
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(Independent magazine), Sarajevo
(Privately owned daily), Sarajevo
(Nationalist daily), Banjaluka
(Independent weekly), Sarajevo
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Countries of the Western Balkans have expected to be next on the list of E.U. enlargement for quite some time, but the global economic crisis has made those expectations a distant prospect.
The European Commission (EC) annual reports on would-be members brought a mixture of hope and bitterness in the Balkans.
Too much state shrinks civic space; too much civil society can weaken institutions of government. After 50 years of too much state, the balance was somewhat unwillingly tipped in the other direction.
The United Nations failed to protect a designated