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  • 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: 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: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: NATO-led troops have played a vital part in securing the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) since their arrival in December 1995. Although authorised by the Dayton Peace Agreement to assist civilian implementation, the military is not obliged to do so. Yet, by evolving in response to developments, the mission has contributed - albeit belatedly and inconsistently - to international civilian efforts to construct a viable state. This shift was reflected in the change of the mission's name in 1996 from Implementation Force (IFOR) to Stabilisation Force (SFOR).
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The current attempts by the leadership of the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ) of Bosnia and Herzegovina to secede from the legal and constitutional structures of the state are the most serious challenge yet to the post-war order established by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • 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: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The 1999 action plan of the Reconstruction and Return Task Force (RRTF) represents the most determined effort yet to implement a policy of mass minority return in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But the signs at mid-season are that the results for 1999 will once again be disappointing.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: ICG, with the support of the European Commission, has established a project to promote justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina. With the assistance of 8 partner organisations based all over BiH, ICG will monitor individual cases and general trends to highlight and promote the development of a judicial system in BiH up to the standards of a modern, European judiciary. This first, introductory report examines the factors preventing the development of an independent judiciary, and outlines steps necessary to promote judicial independence.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe, 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: 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: 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: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: International organisations working to help displaced Bosnians return to their pre-war homes -- arguably the most important element of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) -- have declared 1998 the “year of minority returns”. Four months into the year, however, there is the distinct possibility that 1998 may instead prove to be the “year of mass relocation”. This need not be the case. The political climate in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) has shifted in recent months and, despite major setbacks, including in Drvar, minority return success stories are already beginning to emerge. In order to turn the current trickle of minority returns into a steady flow, the lessons of past failures and successes have to be learned.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Migration, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 02-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: To many who followed the Bosnian war from abroad, Sarajevo symbolised Bosnia and Herzegovina's rich tradition of multi-culturalism and multi-ethnicity. While the Bosnian capital came under daily bombardment from Republika Srpska forces, its citizens of all faiths, Bosniacs, Serbs, Croats and others, suffered and survived together in the spirit of tolerance in which they had lived together for centuries. For multi-culturalism and multi-ethnicity to re-emerge in Bosnia after the war, this spirit must be rekindled in peace.
  • Topic: Demographics, Ethnic Conflict, Migration
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Achieving the ambitious goals of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (DPA) -- forging a unified state out of the shaky Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and resistant and unstable Republika Srpska -- is a complex and difficult undertaking which has not been made easier by the quest for a so-called “exit strategy”. Ultimately, success will be judged by the durability of the peace. But as the pre-announced departure date for the NATO-led Stabilisation Force (SFOR) approaches, it is clear that a self-sustaining peace is not yet in sight.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, Ethnic Conflict, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Prospects for lasting peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina have improved in recent months as a result of a clear shift in approach towards implementation of the peace plan on the part of the international community. The new-found resolve has been characterised, in particular, by a snatch operation in Prijedor in July in which one indicted war criminal was captured and another killed, and the seizure by the NATO-led Stabilisation Force (SFOR) of four transmission towers used by Bosnian Serb television's (SRT) Pale studio which had hitherto been used to broadcast ethnic hatred and obstruct implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, Ethnic Conflict, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe