Bosnia and Herzegovina

Driving Directions Bosnia and Herzegovina

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, more commonly known as Bosnia, declared its independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1992 and became the scene of bitter ethnic fighting in the years that followed. Densely forested and deeply cut by rivers flowing northwards to join the River Sava, the Dinaric Alps are the principal topographical feature in the west and south.

The limestone plateau further to the east and the north is a second prominent feature while the northern strip of the coun­try is lower-lying and densely forested and includes part of the Dinaric Alps. Half the country is forested, and timber is an important product of the northern areas. One-quarter of the land cultivated, and corn, wheat, and flax are the principal products of the north.

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In the south, tobacco, cot­ton, fruits, and grapes are the main products. Before the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia was the second poorest country in economic terms, despite having valuable mineral resources, including coal, iron ore, manganese, lead, copper and silver, and vast potential for the development of hydroelectric power.

The economy has been devastated by the civil war which began in 1991 following the secession of Croatia and Slovenia from the former Yugoslavia. The dispute over who should control Bosnia continued, leading to UN intervention in an attempt to devise a territorial plan acceptable to all factions.

A peace agreement signed in late 1995 resulted in the division of the country into two self- governing provinces, one Bosnian Serb and the other Muslim Croat, under a central, unified, multi-ethnic gov­ernment. The population of the state significantly diminished when refugees from the civil war fled between 1992 and 1993.

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