By Matthew Parish

Following the brutal wars which raged within the former Yugoslavia within the early Nineties, Bosnia and Herzegovina used to be awkwardly partitioned into governing entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. yet there has been one a part of the rustic which may now not be geared up into both classification: the Breko District, a strategically serious land-bridge among the 2 components of the Bosnian Serb territory. This quarter was once the topic of a hugely strange scan: positioned lower than a regime of the world over supervised executive, Breko turned a ""free city,"" evoking the reminiscence of Trieste or Danzig within the nineteenth century. What has this scan in state-building printed in regards to the background of this stricken nook of the Balkans - and its destiny? What classes might be utilized to clash solution in different components of the area? And was once the scan winning or have the voters of Breko suffered additional by the hands of the overseas group? A unfastened urban within the Balkans investigates the increase and fall of Breko and post-war Bosnia and investigates what classes will be discovered for foreign peacekeeping missions elsewhere.

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Additional resources for A Free City in the Balkans: Reconstructing a Divided Society in Bosnia (International Library of War Studies)

Sample text

Serb nationalist sentiment culminated in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in BOSNIA AND BRČKO 29 Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 by a Serb extremist called Gavilo Princip, triggering the outbreak of World War I. 1. The province of Bosnia within the Ottoman Empire at the end of the sixteenth century. It comprises several sandžaks (administrative subdivisions) and includes much of what is now Croatia and parts of what is now southern Serbia. Bosnia comprises the westernmost extent of the Ottoman Empire, bordering the Republics of Venice and Ragusa (Dubrovnik) and Habsburg Croatia.

Upon the ceasefire, Serb forces occupied a significant proportion of what had been the Socialist Republic of Croatia under the SFRY. An area of eastern Slavonia, the area of north-east Croatia closest to the border with Serbia, was also in the hands of Serb forces, including the town of Beli Manastir (in the far north-east, close to the border between Serbia, Hungary and Croatia) and the city of Vukovar. Vukovar, on the river Danube border between Serbia and Croatia, had a mixed Croat and Serb population and had been the subject of a devastating Serb siege.

These institutions can be initially closely supervised by the internat-ional community, and external control over them can be gradually relaxed until the country is ready for autonomous democracy. When elections are finally held, local elections (where the stakes are lower and cooperation is easier) should precede national elections, as a dry run in practising democratic cooperation. This thought did not generally hold sway amongst the international community in post-war Bosnia. The course taken immediately after the end of the war, to hold quick elections, required the state-builders to work with the newly elected officials to create the new domestic institutions mandated by the constitutional framework set out in the Dayton Peace Agreement.

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