Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Bosnia: the Story of a Shrinking Nation

 The New York Times has a story today on the sad shape of Bosnia Herzegovina. HERE

It speaks of the effect of the 1992 war and the instability of the government(s) since. There are two different governments in two sections - think of them as mini-states. The first, the Bosnian-Croat section, operates in half of the nation. The Srpska Republic runs the other half of the country. It comprises the Serbian population and is trying to unify with Serbia.

As an umbrella, the nation of Bosnia Herzegovina runs the country as a whole. It comprises a tri-part agreement with the President rotating between a Serb, a Bosniak, and a Croat. The Supreme Court comprises 2 representatives of Croat, Serbian, and Bosniak populations. There are two more EU representatives on the Supreme Court, and peace is kept by the EU. This is all according to the "Dayton Accords" hammered out with help from America. The "temporary" accords are now at least 30 years old.

I had Pizza and Cevapi here! (Gravur and Bakkal respectively)

This mashup of factions and groups keeps the government paralyzed and barely functional. The capital city of Sarajevo is doing well, but the rest of the nation is losing population with an exodus of people emigrating. Many Serbs are immigrating to Serbia, Croats to Croatia, and Bosniaks to the United States.

It is a sad and heartbreaking story because I was there so often to witness it. I hoped that this would magically change when pressure was applied by the different factions during a negotiation on the constitution and institutions. It has not.

Sarajevo is such an AMAZING city with a rich history of rule by Ionians, Ottomans, Austria-Hungarians, and then Yugoslavs that I only wish everyone could see it through my eyes.

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