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  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), the larger of Bosnia and Herzegovina's two entities, is in crisis. Disputes among and between Bosniak and Croat leaders and a dysfunctional administrative system have paralysed decision-making, put the entity on the verge of bankruptcy and triggered social unrest. Much focus has been on the conflict that pits the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) against the Federation, but the parallel crisis within the Federation also deserves attention. The need for overhaul of the FBiH has been ignored because of belief that state-wide constitutional reform would solve most of its problems, but any state-level reform seems far off. Bosnia's challenges all have echoes at Federation level, though in simpler form. Reform in the Federation, starting with establishment of a parliamentary commission, is achievable and could give impetus to state-level reform, while improving the livelihoods of the people in Bosnia's larger entity. If it does not happen, Bosnia, which was wracked by three and a half years of war in the 1990s, may well slide toward new political and economic ungovernability.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: This briefing compares the mandate of the Independent Monitoring Commission for Northern Ireland (IMC) with those of two recent European examples of the monitoring and enforcement of compliance with peace agreements: the unsuccessful Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) of 1998-1999, and the much more fruitful mission of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1995. It attempts to identify lessons from those earlier experiences that may help the IMC carry out its mission in the context of carrying forward the Good Friday peace process.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Ireland
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Making another attempt to unite the divided city of Mostar has become, unexpectedly but appropriately, a very high international priority in Bosnia " Herzegovina (BiH) in 2003. By late summer, it had come to be ranked by High Representative Paddy Ashdown among his four major projects for structural reform. In each case, the High Representative appointed a foreign chairman to lead commissions composed of domestic representatives and charged with finding statebuilding solutions in the symbolically or substantively important realms of defence, intelligence, indirect taxation - and Mostar. All aim to unify divided and dysfunctional institutions. The first three commissions, which have already reported and whose draft legislation is proceeding through the various parliaments, have also sought to empower the state over the entities and their respective national establishments.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The return of the nationalist parties to power after the October 2002 general elections in Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH) was widely assessed as a calamity. Some observers went so far as to claim that it signified the failure of the international peace-building mission over the previous seven years. But the new High Representative, Paddy Ashdown, refused to be downcast. Not only was the nationalists' victory narrow, but he was confident he could work with them if they proved faithful to their pre-election pledges to embrace the reform agenda he had been charting since taking office in May 2002. This agenda seeks to make up for lost time: implementing the economic, legal and governance reforms required both to make BiH a prosperous, lawful and peaceable state and to set the country on track for European integration. Lord Ashdown aims to put himself out of a job by putting BiH on the road to the EU.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: It is time to consider the future of Brcko District. In particular, it is time to chart an exit strategy for the supervisory regime that will serve both to preserve and extend its and the people of Brcko's accomplishments.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Afflicted still by the physical, psychological and political wounds of war, and encumbered by the flawed structures imposed by the international community to implement peace, Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter: Bosnia) is not yet capable of plotting a strategy or undertaking the measures likely to win it membership in the European Union (EU). Yet the government announced on 10 April 2003 that its major policy goal is to join the EU in 2009, in the blind faith that the processes of European integration will themselves provide Bosnia with remedies for its wartime and post-war enfeeblement. The Thessaloniki summit meeting between the heads of state or government of the EU members and the Western Balkan states to be held on 21 June is likely to throw some cold water on their ambitions.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In preparing for and orchestrating the proximity talks that marked the end of the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH), the authors of the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA) placed a particularly high priority on the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their pre-war homes. Annex 7 of the DPA is devoted entirely to ensuring the right of return. The peacemakers hoped that such return might one day reverse the territorial, political and national partition of the country that the DPA otherwise recognised.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The democratic government elected in Belgrade in 2000 did not end the extensive busting of arms sanctions engaged in for many years by its predecessor, the Milosevic dictatorship. The NATO (SFOR) troops who raided an aircraft factory in Bosnia.s Republika Srpska on 12 October 2002 found documents that have begun to strip the veils of secrecy from this significant scandal. From ICG.s own investigations, as well as from those initial revelations and stories that have appeared subsequently in the Serbian press, it appears that arms deals of considerable monetary value continued with Iraq and Liberia despite the change of administrations.
  • Topic: Politics, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Arabia, Yugoslavia, Arab Countries, Liberia
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Put together under the tutelage of representatives of the international community in the aftermath of the November 2000 general elections, the ten-party coalition known as the Democratic Alliance for Change has governed the larger of Bosnia Herzegovina's two entities and led the state-level Council of Ministers since early 2001. Intended by its sponsors and members to sideline the three nationalist parties that had fought the 1992-95 war and ruled their respective pieces of BiH thereafter, the Alliance was also expected to undertake thoroughgoing reforms and to provide proof that implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords might yet produce a viable state.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Despite more than six years of increasingly intrusive reforms carried out at the behest of the UN Mission in Bosnia Herzegovina (UNMIBH), the local police cannot yet be counted upon to enforce the law. Too often – like their opposite numbers in the judiciary – nationally partial, under-qualified, underpaid, and sometimes corrupt police officers uphold the law selectively, within a dysfunctional system still controlled by politicised and nationalised interior ministries.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In July 2000, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia Herzegovina made an historic ruling requiring the two entities, the Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska (RS), to amend their constitutions to ensure the full equality of the country's three “constituent peoples” throughout its territory.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After six years and billions of dollars spent, peace implementation in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains far from complete. Reshaping (ërecalibratingí, in local jargon) the international community (IC) presence is vital if the peace process is to have a successful outcome.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: By recognising Republika Srpska (RS) as a legitimate polity and constituent entity of the new Bosnia, the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement embraced a contradiction. For the RS was founded as a stepping stone to a ëGreater Serbiaí and forged in atrocities against ñ and mass expulsions of ñ non-Serbs.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Despite five years and five billion US dollars of international community investment in Bosnia, the 11 November Bosnian elections demonstrated once again that international engagement has failed to provide a sustainable basis for a functioning state, capable of surviving an international withdrawal.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Five years after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, which brought an end to almost four years of bloody war in Bosnia, many of those believed to have carried out some of the war's worst atrocities remain at large. The continued presence in the municipalities of Republika Srpska (RS) of individuals suspected of war crimes—some indicated either publicly or secretly by the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)—represents a significant obstacle to the return of ethnic minority refugees. It also undermines seriously Bosnia's chances for building central institutions, generating self-sustainable economic growth, and achieving the political transformation necessary to begin the process of integration with the rest of Europe. Moreover, the continued commitment of most war crimes suspects to the goal of a Greater Serbia, and their willingness to use violence to achieve it, could—in the long term—provoke renewed conflict in Bosnia and continued instability in the Balkans.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After four and a half year of concerted efforts by the international community, significant numbers of minority refugees are returning spontaneously to areas of Bosnia controlled by heretofore hostile ethnic majorities. This provides an opportunity to reverse wartime ethnic cleansing and make substantial progress toward achieving a core goal of the international community and the Dayton Peace Agreement. The requirement for modestly increased reconstruction and security assistance to facilitate this process, however, poses a challenge for governments and international aid and security organisations, many of which are seeking to wind down their Bosnia commitments. Absent such international community support and increased Bosnian government co-operation, the ceiling for returns may be low, and could jeopardise the success of current and future return efforts.
  • Topic: Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The international community can draw a degree of comfort from the results of Bosnia's 8 April 2000 municipal elections. Overall, the voting was free of violence and more freeand fair than any previous election held in Bosnia. Nationalism may not be on the run yet—witness the strength of indicted Bosnian Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic's Serbian Democratic Party (SDS)—but moderate leaders are making inroads and increasing numbers of voters seem to be paying attention to their messages.
  • Topic: Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Reunification of Mostar is key to the reintegration of separatist Herzegovinian Bosnian Croats into Bosnia. After years of fruitless post-Dayton efforts to wean the Bosnian Croats from Zagreb and reorient them toward a constructive role in Bosnia, the international community at long last has the capability to achieve this goal. The success of the democratic forces in Croatia in the January-February elections there has brought reliable partners to power with whom the international community can work in Bosnia. Policy initiatives in Herzegovina will not require new resources and, if achieved, can lead to a reduction in the international profile in Bosnia. Failure to act on these opportunities will cripple the Bosnian peace effort and weaken the new government in Croatia. These issues present serious policy challenges.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Thousands of people try to find their way daily through an immensely complicated labyrinth established by the three separate and very often conflicting legal systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Evidence presented in this report, the third in the ICG legal project series, proves that unexplained time delays, dubious application of law and blatant ethnic discrimination contribute greatly to the ad hoc nature of Bosnian justice.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: To date, little attention has been paid to the role public administration plays in enforcing or violating the human rights and civil liberties of Bosnia and Herzegovina's citizens. Instead, much effort is concentrated on reforming the court system. Yet, the justice system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) comprises far more than the court system. It also consists of "administrative justice," where small-scale rulings by seemingly minor municipal and cantonal officials in a variety of public administrative organs, exercise a huge influence on the lives and legal rights of ordinary citizens. Many of these rulings prevent citizens from exercising their legal rights and gaining access to due process of law.</p
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In anticipation of the fourth anniversary on 21 November 1999 of the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, this report presents a detailed analysis of the agreement and the future of the Bosnian peace process. The report assesses efforts to implement the agreement annex by annex, identifying obstacles to continued progress and setting out key choices facing international policymakers.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 28 June 1989, Slobodan Milosevic stood on the site of the ancient Serb battleground of Kosovo Polje and delivered the speech that was to propel him to prominence and the leadership of. Ten years on, Milosevic remains firmly entrenched in power. He has survived three Balkan wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, economic sanctions, 78 days of NATO air strikes, and an indictment on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Balkans, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The ICG Balkans Report N°66, "Kosovo: Let's Learn from Bosnia", of 17 May 1999 looked at how experience in Bosnia could be useful in Kosovo, and also at the extent to which the Rambouillet agreement of 23 February 1999 resembled the Dayton agreement of 21 November 1995.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After almost three and a half years working in Bosnia to implement the Dayton Peace Agreement, the international community will soon face the prospect of establishing a presence in Kosovo. The model proposed at Rambouillet was very similar to that set up at Dayton, but the situation now is very different. This report examines the international effort in Bosnia to see whether lessons can be drawn for Kosovo and other possible future international administrations.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The donor countries hoped the governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina would use the promised $ 5.1 Billion post-war reconstruction aid to undertake the structural changes necessary to transition from communism to capitalism. As donor-aid diminished, private investment would replace it, stimulated by structural reforms. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Indeed, interviews with Bosnian and foreign businessmen show a common reluctance to invest in BiH.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Electoral reform is on the agenda this year in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For too long the country has been ruled by leaders who draw support from only one of the three main ethnic groups. These leaders have been unable to co-operate on even the simplest matters, inhibiting the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) and forcing the international community to micromanage the country. Electoral reform offers one promising way to allow Bosnians to choose less confrontational leaders, and so start to accept responsibility for their own future.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Arbitral Tribunal on Brcko meets this month, and may or may not this time make its final decision, after postponements in 1997 and 1998. An award to either the Federation or Republika Srpska would provoke an extreme reaction: ICG advocates that a final decision should be made now, and that Brcko municipality should be reunited and made an autonomous district under the constitutional jurisdiction of the central government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Three years after the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), the country has many of the trappings usually associated with statehood such as a common flag, currency, vehicle licence plate and passport. However, these and other breakthroughs have generally required disproportionate amounts of time and effort on the part of the international community and have all too often been rammed through in spite of Bosnia's domestic institutions. Despite visible progress towards many of the goals contained within the DPA, therefore, Bosnia's peace still gives the impression that it is built on shifting sands. Moreover, although critical to the peace process, the scale of the international presence, which increasingly resembles a protectorate, is in some ways counter-productive to Bosnia's long-term future. On the one hand, domestic institutions and politicians have to a large extent given up responsibility for governing their own country. On the other, the massive international stake has led key international players to declare the peace process a success, irrespective of how it is actually evolving. The international presence is also extremely expensive, costing some $9 billion a year.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has dominated Croatian political life since multi-party elections in April 1990 brought an end to communist rule. The HDZ has been a broad movement rather than a modern political party, representing a wide range of political views and interests, united behind its leader, President Franjo Tudjman, in the aim of achieving Croatian sovereignty and independence. In 1990-91, large areas of the country were taken over by rebellious Croatian Serbs, with support from Belgrade. Thus for most of the period of HDZ rule in Croatia, large chunks of the country remained outside Zagreb's control, and the overriding priority was to restore Croatia's territorial integrity, a goal which was finally achieved in January 1998. Croatia also became enmeshed in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) as, supported by Croatia, the Bosnian Croats fought their erstwhile Bosniac allies in 1993-94. The obsession of Tudjman and the hard-line Herzegovina lobby in the HDZ with the dream of eventually detaching chunks of Bosnian territory and joining them with Croatia has been a persistent cause of international pressure on Croatia, as well as of division within Croatian politics.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 11-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As winter approaches in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), conditions for refugee returns to that country become increasingly difficult. In neighbouring Croatia, by contrast, the weather is generally milder so that, given political will, refugees should be able to return to their homes throughout the winter months. Moreover, the Croatian government is organising a reconstruction conference next month, at which it hopes to obtain pledges of international support to help rebuild its war-damaged country. Many refugees from Croatia are Serbs – of whom some 300,000 now reside in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska – who fled previously Serb-held regions of Croatia in the wake of the Croatian Army's 1995 military offensives.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The stakes in Bosnia's forthcoming elections, the fifth internationally-supervised poll since the end of the war, could not be higher, for Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) and also for the international community. Having invested enormous financial and political capital in the peace process, the international community expects a return on its investment. That is why leading international figures including US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright have entered the Bosnian political fray, urging Bosnians to back parties which "support Dayton" and threatening to withdraw aid if they do not. The elections will bring some changes so the event will be hailed as a triumph. However, they will not lay the ground for a self-sustaining peace process. That can only be achieved by political reform and, in particular, a redesign of the electoral system to guarantee Bosnians ethnic security.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Despite considerable progress since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) in November 1995 in consolidating the peace and rebuilding normal life in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), international efforts do not appear to be achieving the goal of establishing Bosnia as a stable, functioning state, able at some point to run its own affairs without the need for continued international help. Peace, in the narrow sense of an absence of war, has been maintained; progress has been made in establishing freedom of movement throughout the country; joint institutions, including the state presidency, parliamentary assemblies and ministries, as well as a joint command for the armed forces of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federation), have been established.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Migration, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Croat extremists put Drvar into the spotlight in April 1998 with murders and riots against returning Serbs and the international community. It was the most serious outbreak of violence in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) for more than a year. Before the riots, Drvar – whose pre-war population was 97 per cent Serb – offered some cause for optimism: more Serbs had returned there than to any other region of the Federation outside of Sarajevo, and Serbs were looking to Drvar to help them assess the possibilities and risks for further return to the Federation and Croatia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The reintegration of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) has been consistently obstructed by the main Bosnian Croat party, the Croat Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZBiH). The HDZBiH is dominated by hard-liners who emphasise the consolidation of a pure Croat-inhabited territory centred on western Herzegovina, with the eventual aim of seceding and joining Croatia. This policy has received support from hard-line elements in Croatia, including the president, Franjo Tudjman.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 06-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 1 July 1997 Konjic became the first municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) to be officially recognised as an Open City by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). At the time, the Open Cities Initiative was supposed to form the backbone of UNHCR's approach to minority return. To obtain Open City status Konjic had to demonstrate a willingness to accept the return of minority displaced persons. In return, the UNHCR endeavoured to reward the municipality with additional funding. However, despite large-scale financial assistance and although close to 2,000 minority families have formally registered their intent to return, reliable sources estimate that fewer than 300 minority returnees have made their way home to Konjic since the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) brought the Bosnian war to a halt.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 06-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Croat-controlled Jajce and Bosniac-controlled Travnik are both municipalities to which displaced persons who do not belong to the majority ethnic group have been returning in substantial numbers. Some 5,000 Bosniacs have returned to Jajce (prewar population, 44,900) and 2,500 Croats have returned to Travnik (pre-war population, 70,400) since the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) came into force. These 7,500 “minority returns” constitute nearly 20 per cent of the total estimated 40,000 minority returns throughout the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), although the combined current populations of Jajce and Travnik (less than 75,000) account for less than 3 percent of the Federation's current population. These two municipalities in the Middle Bosnia Canton thus may be considered successful examples of minority return, if not yet reintegration. Nevertheless, at different times and to varying degrees, the authorities in Jajce and Travnik have obstructed return movements.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Migration, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In Bosnia's local elections on 13 and 14 September 1997, parties representing displaced Serbs from Croat-held Drvar, Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoc won either a majority or a plurality of council seats in these three municipalities in Canton 10 of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since then, displaced Serbs have begun spontaneously moving back to their homes with the result that by mid-January, some 800 heads of households had returned to Drvar alone. Other displaced Serbs in Western Republika Srpska and in Brcko are monitoring the fortunes of these returnees closely. If Serbs are able to return to Drvar, this will free up housing in Republika Srpska for displaced Bosniacs and Croats. If, however, their return to Drvar is obstructed, displaced Serbs elsewhere will be discouraged from attempting to return to other Federation municipalities.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe