Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republika Bosna i Hercegovina
Република Босна и Херцеговина
Anthem: "Jedna si jedina"
"Једна си једина"
(English: "You are the one and only")
  All territory once fully controlled and administered by the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian War
  Territory internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but controlled by other entities during the Bosnian War
Official languagesSerbo-Croatian[1]
GovernmentUnitary dominant-party parliamentary republic
Chairman of the Presidency 
• 1992–1996
Alija Izetbegović
Prime Minister 
• 1992
Jure Pelivan
• 1992–1993
Mile Akmadžić
• 1993–1996
Haris Silajdžić
• 1996–1997
Hasan Muratović
LegislatureNational Assembly
Historical eraBreakup of Yugoslavia
1 March 1992
3 March 1992
6 April 1992
18 March 1994
14 December 1995
CurrencyBH Dinar
Calling code+387
ISO 3166 codeBA
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
SFR Yugoslavia
Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Serbo-Croatian: Republika Bosna i Hercegovina / Република Босна и Херцеговина) was a state in Southeastern Europe, existing from 1992 to 1995. It is the direct legal predecessor to the modern-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[2]

Bosnia and Herzegovina seceded from the disintegrating Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992. The Bosnian War broke out soon after its Declaration of Independence and lasted for 3 years. Leaders from two of the three main ethnicities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely the Serbs and the Croats, separately established the entities of the Republika Srpska and the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, respectively, which were unrecognized by the Bosnian state and international governments.[3] Informally, these events were considered as evidence that the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina represented primarily its Bosniak (mainly Muslim) population, though formally, the presidency and government of the republic was still composed of Serbs and Croats along with Bosniaks.[4][5][6]

Under the Washington Agreement of 1994, however, Bosniaks were joined by Croats of Herzeg-Bosnia, which was abolished by this agreement, in support for the Republic by the formation of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a sub-state joint entity. In 1995, the Dayton Peace Accords joined the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Serb entity, the Republika Srpska, from that point onward recognized formally as a political sub-state entity without a right of secession, into the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[3][5][7]

The prefix Republic was removed following the co-signing of the Annex 4 of the Dayton Agreement, containing the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 14 December 1995.


Main articles: Bosnian War and Breakup of Yugoslavia

Alija Izetbegović during a visit to the United States in 1997.

The 1990 parliamentary elections led to a national assembly dominated by three ethnically based parties, which had formed a loose coalition to oust the communists from power. Croatia and Slovenia's subsequent declarations of independence and the warfare that ensued placed Bosnia and Herzegovina and its three constituent peoples in an awkward position. A significant split soon developed on the issue of whether to stay with the Yugoslav federation (overwhelmingly favored among Serbs) or seek independence (overwhelmingly favored among Bosniaks and Croats). A declaration of sovereignty in October 1991 was followed by a referendum for independence from Yugoslavia in February and March 1992. The referendum was boycotted by the great majority of Bosnian Serbs, so with a voter turnout of 64%, 99% of which voted in favor of the proposal, Bosnia and Herzegovina became a sovereign state.[8]

While the first casualty of the war is debated, significant Serb offensives began in March 1992 in Eastern and Northern Bosnia. Following a tense period of escalating tensions and sporadic military incidents, open warfare began in Sarajevo on 6 April.[8]

International recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina meant that the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) officially withdrew from the republic's territory, although their Bosnian Serb members merely joined the Army of Republika Srpska. Armed and equipped from JNA stockpiles in Bosnia, supported by volunteers, Republika Srpska's offensives in 1992 managed to place much of the country under its control.[8] By 1993, when the Croat-Bosniak conflict erupted between the Sarajevo government and the Croat statelet of Herzeg-Bosnia, about 70% of the country was controlled by the Serbs.[9]

In 1993 the authorities in Sarajevo adopted a new language law (Službeni list Republike Bosne i Hercegovine, 18/93): "In the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ijekavian standard literary language of the three constitutive nations is officially used, designated by one of the three terms: Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian."[10]

In March 1994, the signing of the Washington accords between the Bosniak and ethnic-Croatian leaders led to the creation of a joint Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This, along with international outrage at Serb war crimes and atrocities (most notably the Srebrenica massacre of over 8,000 people in July 1995[11]) helped turn the tide of war. The signing of the Dayton Agreement in Paris by the presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Alija Izetbegović), Croatia (Franjo Tuđman), and Serbia (Slobodan Milošević) brought a halt to the fighting, roughly establishing the basic structure of the present-day state. The three years of war and bloodshed had left between 95,000 and 100,000 people dead and more than 2 million displaced.[12]


Bosnia and Herzegovina had more demographic variety than most other European countries. According to the 1991 census Bosnia and Herzegovina had 4,364,649 inhabitants. The four largest named nationalities were Bosniaks (1,905,274 inhabitants, or 43.65%), Serbs (1,369,883 inhabitants, or 31.39%), Croats (755,883 inhabitants, or 17.32%), and Yugoslavs (239,857 inhabitants, or 5.5%).[13]

Travel documents

Sarajevo issue RBiH passport; and Zagreb Embassy issue RBiH passport.

In October 1992, a limited number of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina passports were printed and available to its citizens.[14] The document allowed the holders to enter and leave the newly formed country legally as well as other nations traveled to.

The Republic's official documents and passports were valid until the end of 1997 when the implementation of the Dayton Agreement commenced the modern-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The R. BiH passports were replaced by the Bosnia and Herzegovina passport and the Bosnia and Herzegovina identity card.

Education system

RBiH Elementary School wartime student report card.

During the Bosnian War, schooling continued primarily in major cities. In besieged Sarajevo, schools operated in dispersed basement classrooms in neighborhoods across the capital city, under the constant threat of enemy guns and mortar fire.[15] Depending on the part of the country, teaching staff needed to adjust to the war circumstances, and classrooms were often held in houses and hallways. In some places, the school buildings were even turned into refugee camps, hospitals or military headquarters.

For the 1992–93 school year, the subjects and curriculum were closely linked to those from the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina period. However, education during the war had many shortcomings, such as an unstable infrastructure, a lack of teachers, and a severe lack of textbooks.[16]

The names of many schools in Sarajevo were changed during the R BiH period and remain so in present-day Bosnia. The Ideology of socialist Yugoslavia and achievements of the National Liberation Struggle altered many school names, especially those named after predominantly non-Bosniak historical figures. Only 3 schools from roughly sixty in the capital were changed.[17]


Main article: Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Seal of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ARBiH) were the armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ARBiH was established on 15 April 1992, and most of the structure is transferred from the former Territorial Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Army after the Dayton Agreement was defined as the Bosniak component of the Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and after defense, reforms transformed into the Bosnian rangers, one of the three brigades of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


See also: Bosnia and Herzegovina dinar

Following the introduction of the Bosnian dinar and replacement of the Yugoslav dinar, the Bosnian dinar was in circulation in most of the territory controlled by the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The areas under Croatian control used the Croatian dinar and also kuna, and the Bosnia and Herzegovina territory held by Serb forces, proclaimed Republika Srpska, dinar was also introduced as a means of payment. Shortly after the introduction of the dinar, the Deutsche Mark was preferred as the new means of payment in the Bosniak and Croat dominated RBiH. In present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina the currency is the convertible mark which replaced the dinar and Deutsche Mark, but many shops and gas stations accept Euro as a currency in practice.

Postal service and philately

See also: Postage stamps and postal history of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The country produced its first stamps since independence in 1993 under the command of the Sarajevo government and began inscribing them as Republika Bosna i Hercegovina.[18] Prior to 1993, newly formed Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina used SFR Yugoslav stamps, overprinted to Sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina over the face of stamp. Entities that were not under government control, such as Herzeg-Bosnia[19] and Republika Srpska,[20] issued own stamps.


Some prominent sporting achievements of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–1997):







See also


  1. ^ "Ustav RBiH.pdf" (PDF). Fondacija Centar za javno pravo. 14 March 1993. Retrieved 6 March 2019. U Republici Bosni i Hercegovini u službenoj upotrebi je srpskohrvatski odnosno hrvatskosrpski jezik ijekavskog izgovora.
  2. ^ "CONSTITUTION OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA" (PDF). The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b Holbrooke, Richard C. (1999). To End a War. Modern Library. ISBN 9780375753602.
  4. ^ Hoare, Marko Attila (2004). How Bosnia armed. Saqi Books in association with the Bosnian Institute. ISBN 9780863563676.
  5. ^ a b Simms, Brendan (4 July 2002). Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 9780140289831.
  6. ^ Bose, Sumantra (2002). Bosnia After Dayton: Nationalist Partition and International Intervention. C. Hurst. ISBN 9781850656456.
  7. ^ Vranić, Jelena (2000). The Dayton peace accords: mapping negotiations : based on "To end a war" book by Richard Holbrooke. Fama. ISBN 9789958954917. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Malcolm, Noel (1994). Bosnia A Short History. New York University Press. ISBN 0-8147-5520-8.
  9. ^ Riedlmayer, Andras (1993). A Brief History of Bosnia-Herzegovina Archived 18 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine. The Bosnian Manuscript Ingathering Project.
  10. ^ Bugarski, Ranko; Hawkesworth, Celia, eds. (2004). Language in the Former Yugoslav Lands. Bloomington: Slavica Publishers. p. 142. ISBN 0-89357-298-5. OCLC 52858529.
  11. ^ "Victims of the Srebrenica Massacre". The Polynational War Memorial. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Bosnian war 'claimed 100,000 lives'". Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 21 November 2005.
  13. ^ "Stanovništvo prema nacionalnoj pripadnosti i površina naselja, popis 1991. za Bosnu i Hercegovinu" (PDF). p. 1.
  14. ^ "Hronologija opsade Sarajeva 1992 – 1996". 29 April 2008.
  15. ^ "The Heroes of Treca Gimnazija: A War School in Sarajevo, 1992–1995". 23 July 2001. Archived from the original on 3 May 2021. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Devedesete: Rat i nakon rata u Bosni i Hercegovini".
  17. ^ "STAV – Ko bi gori, sad je doli: Imena sarajevskih osnovnih škola u zagrljaju ideologija". Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  18. ^ Stamps of the World. Stanley Gibbons. 2004. p. 392.
  19. ^ About stamps, Croatian Post Mostar,, accessed January 7, 2024
  20. ^ PDF Katalog 1992 – 2007., Pošte Srpske,, accessed January 7, 2024
  21. ^ "FIFA Men's Ranking 23 October 1996". 1996. Archived from the original on 29 January 2016.
  22. ^ "FIFA Men's Ranking 20 August 1997". 1997. Archived from the original on 29 January 2016.

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