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Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Geography

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Bosnia and Herzegovina Page


Other pages in this profile of Bosnia and Herzegovina:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991 was followed by a declaration of independence from the former Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by ethnic Serbs. The Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Serbia and Montenegro - responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning the republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas to form a "Greater Serbia." In March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats reduced the number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties initialed a peace agreement that brought to a halt three years of interethnic civil strife (the final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December 1995). The Dayton Peace Accords retained Bosnia and Herzegovina's international boundaries and created a joint multi-ethnic and democratic government charged with conducting foreign, diplomatic, and fiscal policy. Also recognized was a second tier of government comprised of two entities roughly equal in size: the Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska (RS). The Federation and RS governments were charged with overseeing most government functions. The Office of the High Representative (OHR) was established to oversee the implementation of the civilian aspects of the agreement. In 1995-96, a NATO-led international peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60,000 troops served in Bosnia to implement and monitor the military aspects of the agreement. IFOR was succeeded by a smaller, NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) whose mission was to deter renewed hostilities. European Union peacekeeping troops (EUFOR) replaced SFOR in December 2004; their mission is to maintain peace and stability throughout the country. EUFOR's mission changed from peacekeeping to civil policing in October 2007, with its presence reduced from nearly 7,000 to 2,500 troops.
Location
Definition
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Croatia
Geographic coordinates
Definition
44 00 N, 18 00 E
Map references
Definition
Europe
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 51,209.2 sq km
land: 51,197 sq km
water: 12.2 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than West Virginia
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 1,538 km
border countries: Croatia 932 km, Montenegro 249 km, Serbia 357 km
Coastline
Definition
20 km
Maritime claims
Definition
no data available
Climate
Definition
hot summers and cold winters; areas of high elevation have short, cool summers and long, severe winters; mild, rainy winters along coast
Terrain
Definition
mountains and valleys
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Maglic 2,386 m
Natural resources
Definition
coal, iron ore, bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, cobalt, manganese, nickel, clay, gypsum, salt, sand, forests, hydropower
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 19.61%
permanent crops: 1.89%
other: 78.5% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
30 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
37.5 cu km (2003)
Natural hazards
Definition
destructive earthquakes
Environment - current issues
Definition
air pollution from metallurgical plants; sites for disposing of urban waste are limited; water shortages and destruction of infrastructure because of the 1992-95 civil strife; deforestation
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
within Bosnia and Herzegovina's recognized borders, the country is divided into a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation (about 51% of the territory) and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska or RS (about 49% of the territory); the region called Herzegovina is contiguous to Croatia and Montenegro, and traditionally has been settled by an ethnic Croat majority in the west and an ethnic Serb majority in the east


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