Bosnia and Herzegovina. When Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the first time since the Civil War, went to the elections in October, it became a setback for international efforts to achieve reconciliation. According to Countryaah website, national day of Bosnia and Herzegovina is every March 1. The moderate forces that ruled for two years were left behind for nationalist parties that emerged in both legislative assemblies and in the three-part presidency. The mainly symbolic presidential posts went to Mirko Šarović, a member of the Serbian SDS (Srpska Democratic Stranka), Dragan Čović of Croatian HDZ (Hrvatska Democratic Zajednica), and the Muslim SDA (Stranka Democratic Akcije) Sulejman Tihic.
In April, the representative of the Western powers, Wolfgang Petritsch, passed constitutional amendments that gave all three peoples groups equal political rights throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. This meant that all political groups were guaranteed political representation and that the three languages were given equal status in both the Republic of Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation. The dominant nationalist parties in the three camps were critical, but could do nothing. Petritsch also stripped politicians at local level of influence over the judiciary as a final measure before being replaced in May as “High Representative” by British politician Paddy Ashdown.
In May, some small steps were also taken to unify the country, which has been divided in practice since the Dayton Agreement in 1995. The authorities decided to start issuing joint identity documents, valid in both sub-republics, and the military agreed to form a joint UN force for peacekeeping operations. elsewhere. In addition, football representatives agreed to start an all-Bosnian league.
The future of the SFOR peacekeeping force looked uncertain in July when the United States threatened to withdraw its troops if US soldiers were not guaranteed prosecution immunity in the newly established International Criminal Court in The Hague. A compromise was reached after a couple of weeks and SFOR was given an extended mandate. According to previous decisions, the strength would be greatly reduced during the year.
In July, the presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Yugoslavia held a summit in Sarajevo, which resulted in a declaration, among other things. that borders should be respected, refugee return facilitated and regional cooperation strengthened.
The Bosnian government imposed a total ban on arms exports and arms imports. The decision was made following strong international pressure after it was revealed that a Bosnian company sold military material to Iraq, in violation of the UN arms embargo.
Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the Council of Europe during the year.