Bosnia - Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina is a country
located in southeastern Europe. Bosnia- Herzegovina
declared its independence in March of 1992. Usually, this
country is referred to as Bosnia, but is officially named
Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 1918, Bosnia-Herzegovina became
part of the kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes,
which later became known as the country of Yugoslavia. In
1946, Yugoslavia became a federal state consisting of six
republics, one of which was Bosnia-Herzegovina. Slavic
people make up most of the counties population. The largest
groups are the Bosnia Muslims, the Serbs, and the Croats.
Much of the Serbian population opposed to Bosnia\'s
independence and a civil war erupted in the Spring of 1992.
Serbian forces soon occupied about two-thirds of the
country. About one-fifth was soon held by Bosnian
Croatians. The remainder of the country was held by
Bosnian government troops, mainly Bosnian Muslims. From
1945, till 1990, communists held a monopoly on powers in
all of Yugoslavia, including Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 1990,
non-communists gained a majority of seats in Bosnia\'s first
multi-party election. Bosnia-Herzegovina\'s capitol city is
Sarajevo, which can be found in the center of the country.
Although many languages are spoke there, the main language
is Serbo-Croatian. In a 1991 census, there was a reported
4,365,639 people living in the borders of
Bosnia-Herzegovina which has an area of 19,741 square
miles, and in 1995 there was an estimated 4,454,000 people
in the country (Twenty-two people per square mile.)
Sixty-six percent of those people live in rural areas, leaving
only thirty-four percent living in urban areas. Bosnia-
Herzegovina\'s money system is based on the Dinar. Their
main agricultural exports are cattle, cherries, corn, grapes,
hogs, peaches, pears, plums, potatoes, sheep, soybeans,
tobacco, walnuts, and wheat. As a developing country, their
industrial production is slightly limited, producing mainly
electrical appliances and textiles. There is also a lot of mining
of coal and iron ore which also contributes to the countries
economy. Bosnia\'s government is headed by a seven
member collective presidency. The presidency consists of
two Croats, two Bosnian Muslims, two Serbs, and one
individual who is not affiliated with a specific ethnic group.
Voters elect members to a four year term. The members
then elect a president who serves a one year term, but then
may be later reelected. The Bosnia-Herzegovina government
also consists of a two-house legislature. The chamber of
citizens has 130 members and the Chamber of municipalities
has 110 members. All are elected for a four year term.
There are, as in the United States, different political parties in
Bosnia-Herzegovina. These parties are recognized as the
Party of Democratic Action, the Serbian Democratic party,
and the Croatian Democratic Union. About forty-four
percent of Bosnia-Herzegovina\'s population are Bosnian
Muslims. Serbs make up about thirty-two percent, and
Croats account for roughly seventeen percent. The remaining
seven percent include Albanians, Gypsies, and Ukrainians.
Since the civil war began, large numbers of people have fled
the county. Most of Bosnia-Herzegovina\'s people speak a
language called Serbo- Croatian. In writing though, Serbs
traditionally use the Cyrillic alphabet. On the other hand,
Bosnian Muslims, Croats and the majority of others living in
Bosnia use the Roman alphabet. The main religions of
Bosnia are Islamic, practiced by the Bosnian Muslims,
Roman Catholic, practiced by the Croats, and the main
religion of the Serbs is Serbian Orthodoxy. Another aspect
of the Bosnian people\'s culture is their food. Bosnian
cooking reflects Turkish and Muslim influences. Musaka,
roasted meat and eggplant, and kapama, mutton with
spinach and green onions, are just two of the dishes
commonly found there. An excellent white wine is also
produced in Mostar. School life in Bosnia is different then
that of the United States. Children of Bosnia are required to
take eight years of elementary school. Some students will
then attend universities, but most will stay and take over the
family property. Bosnia-Herzegovina consists of two-land
regions. (Refer to map below.) Bosnia, the northern section,
is a mountainous region covered with thick forests.
Herzegovina, the southern section of the country, is
composed largely of rocky hills, and flat farmland. The major
rivers or Bosnia-Herzegovina are the Bosna, Neretra, and
Vrbas. The winters of Bosnia-Herzegovina are exceptionally
cold and snowy. Contrasting, the summers are warm in the
mountain valleys, but milder in the higher elevations. In
Sarajevo, the average climate in January in 30§ F, and in
July 68§ F. Prior to the war, Bosnia\'s mountains were full of
visitors taking advantage of the vast range of ski slopes.
Bosnia-Herzegovina is rich in natural resources. It has vast
forests, large iron ore reserves, and plentiful sources of coal
and hydroelectric power. As stated before
Bosnia-Herzegovina\'s main exports were a sum of their
industrial and agricultural products. Bosnia\'s chief trading
partners have been Austria, Germany, and Italy, but has also
traded with Muslim nations of the Middle East