Republika Srpska

Republika Srpska
Република Српска
Flag Seal
Anthem: Моја Република[1]
Moja Republika
My Republic
Location of the Republika Srpska (orange) and Brčko District (green) within Bosnia and Herzegovina.a
Location of the Republika Srpska (orange) and Brčko District (green) within Bosnia and Herzegovina.a
Official languages Serbian, Bosnian and Croatianb
Government Parliamentary system
 -  President Milorad Dodik
 -  Prime Minister Željka Cvijanović
Legislature People's Assembly
 -  Proclaimed 9 January 1992 
 -  Recognized as
part of Bosnia
and Herzegovina
14 December 1995 
 -  Total 24,857 km2
9,597 sq mi
 -  Water (%) n/a
 -  2013 census 1,326,991 d[3]
 -  Density 53,3/km2
155/sq mi
Currency Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark (BAM)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Calling code +387
b. The Constitution of Republika Srpska avoids naming the languages, instead listing them as "the language of the Serb people, the language of the Bosniak people and the language of the Croat people." (because there is no consensus whether this is the same language or three different languages) [4]
c. Including refugees abroad.
d. Excluding Republika Srpska's 48% of the Brčko District

The Republika Srpska (Serbian Cyrillic: Република Српскa, pronounced ) is an administrative entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is one of two administrative entities; the other administrative entity is the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[5]


  • Name 1
  • History 2
    • Impact of war 2.1
  • Geography 3
    • Boundary 3.1
    • Municipalities 3.2
    • Mountains 3.3
    • Hydrology 3.4
    • Protected areas 3.5
  • Demography 4
    • Ethnic composition 4.1
  • Economy 5
    • Foreign investment 5.1
    • External trade 5.2
    • Taxation and salaries 5.3
  • Politics 6
    • External relations 6.1
    • Representative offices 6.2
    • Holidays 6.3
  • Culture 7
    • Education 7.1
    • Sport 7.2
  • Gallery 8
  • Notes 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


In Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Republika Srpska means "Serb Republic". The second word is a nominalized adjective derived by adding the suffix -ska to srb-, the root of the noun Srbin, meaning Serb. The -ps- sequence rather than -bs- is a result of voicing assimilation. Adjectives derived in this way from ethnonyms are often used in Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian as names of countries: e.g., ŠkotŠkotska (Scot – Scotland), HrvatHrvatska (Croat – Croatia).

Although the name Republika Srpska is sometimes glossed as Serb Republic[6] or Bosnian Serb Republic,[7] and the government of Republika Srpska uses the semi-Anglicized term Republic of Srpska in English translations of official documents, western news sources such as the BBC,[8] The New York Times,[9] and The Guardian[10] generally refer to the entity as the Republika Srpska.

In a July 2014 interview for Press, Dragoslav Bokan claimed that he, Goran Marić, and Sonja Karadžić (daughter of Radovan Karadžić) came up with the name Srpska as requested of them by Velibor Ostojić, then-Minister of Information of the entity.[11]


Serbian Autonomous Provinces from 1991 to 1992, created in rebellion against the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Territories which were controlled by Army of Republika Srpska during the war compared with current borders.

At various times during its history, the territory of present-day Republika Srpska has been part of the Kingdom of Illyria, the Roman Empire, the Hunnic Empire, the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths, the Kingdom of the Lombards, the Byzantine Empire, the Kingdom of the Avars, the medieval Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian states, the Bulgarian Empire, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, the Austria-Hungarian Empire and Yugoslavia.

In a session on 14-15 October 1991, the Parliament of Bosnia approved the "Memorandum on Sovereignty", as had already been done by Slovenia and Croatia. The memorandum was adopted despite opposition from 83 Serb deputies, belonging to the Serb Democratic Party (most of the Serb parliamentary representatives) as well as the Serbian Renewal Movement and the Union of Reform Forces, who regarded the move as illegal.[12][13]

On 24 October 1991, the Serb deputies formed the Assembly of the Serb People in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Skupština srpskog naroda u Bosni i Hercegovini) to be the highest representative and legislative body of the Serb population,[14][15] ending the tripartite coalition.

The Union of Reform Forces soon ceased to exist but its members remained in the assembly as the Independent Members of Parliament Caucus. The assembly undertook to address the achievement of equality between the Serbs and other peoples and the protection of the Serbs' interests jeopardized by decisions of the Bosnian parliament.[14] On 9 January 1992, the assembly proclaimed the Republic of the Serb People of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Republika srpskog naroda Bosne i Hercegovine), declaring it part of Yugoslavia.[16]

On 28 February 1992 the assembly adopted the Constitution of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the name adopted instead of the previous Republika srpskog naroda Bosne i Hercegovine), which would include districts, municipalities, and regions where Serbs were the majority and also those where they had allegedly become a minority because of persecution during World War II. The republic was part of Yugoslavia and could enter into union with political bodies representing other peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[17]

The Bosnian parliament, without its Serb deputies, held a referendum on the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 29 February and 1 March 1992, but most Serbs boycotted it since the assembly had previously (9–10 November 1991) held a plebiscite in the Serb regions, 96% having opted for membership of the Yugoslav federation formed only by Serbia and Montenegro.[18] The referendum had a 64% turnout and 92.7% or 99% (according to different sources) voted for independence.[19][20] On 6 March the Bosnian parliament promulgated the results of the referendum, proclaiming the republic's independence from Yugoslavia. The republic's independence was recognized by the European Community on 6 April 1992 and by the United States on 7 April. On the same day the Serbs' assembly in session in Banja Luka declared a severance of governmental ties with Bosnia and Herzegovina.[21] The name Republika Srpska was adopted on 12 August 1992.[22]

Radovan Karadžić (left), former president of Republika Srpska, and Ratko Mladić (right), former Chief of Staff of the Army of the Republika Srpska, both charged with war crimes, including genocide, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

The political controversy escalated into the Bosnian War, which would last until the autumn of 1995. According to numerous verdicts of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia the former president of Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadžić, is currently under trial.[23] The top military general, Ratko Mladić, was arrested on 26 May 2011 in connection with the siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica massacre.[24]

The war was ended by the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, on 21 November and formally signed in Paris on 14 December 1995. Annex 4 of the Agreement is the current Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, recognising Republka Srpska as one of its two main political-territorial divisions and defining the governmental functions and powers of the two entities. The boundary lines between the entities were delineated in Annex 2 of the Agreement.[25]

From 1992 to 2008 the Constitution of Republika Srpska was amended 121 times. Article 1 states that Republika Srpska is a territorially unified, indivisible and inalienable constitutional and legal entity that shall independently perform its constitutional, legislative, executive, and judicial functions.[26]

Impact of war

The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina resulted in major changes in the country, some of which were quantified in a 1998 UNESCO report. In the non-Serbian region 50% of houses were damaged and 6% destroyed while the number was lower in the Serbian region, 25% damaged and 5% destroyed. Two million people, about half the country's population, were displaced. In 1996 there were some 435,346 Serbian refugees from the Federation in Republika Srpska while another 197,925 had gone to Serbia. In 1991, 27% of the non-agricultural labor force had been unemployed in Bosnia and this number had increased due to the war.[27] In 2009 the unemployment rate in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an estimated 29% according to the CIA's The World Factbook.[28]

Republika Srpska's population of Serbs had increased by 547,741 and ethnic cleansing considerably reduced the numbers of other groups. Serb police, soldiers, and irregulars attacked Muslims and Croats, and burned and looted their homes. Some were killed on the spot; others were rounded up and killed elsewhere, or forced to flee.[29]

The increase of the Serb population of the Republic was due to the influx of ethnic Serb refugees from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the former unrecognised state of Republika Srpska Krajina in Croatia.[30] The number of Croats was reduced by 135,386 (majority of prewar population), and the number of Bosniaks by some 434,144. Some 136,000 of approximately 496,000 Bosniak refugees and expulsees, forced to flee the territory of what is now Republika Srpska, have returned home.[31]

As of 2008, 35% of Bosniaks and 8.5% of Croats had returned to Republika Srpska, while 24% of Serbs who left their homes in territories controlled by Bosniaks or Croats, had returned to their pre-war communities.[32]

In the early 2000s discrimination against non-Serbs was alleged by NGOs and the Helsinki Commission. The International Crisis Group reported in 2002 that in some parts of Republika Srpska a returnee is ten times more likely to be the victim of violent crime than is a local Serb.[33] The Helsinki Commission, in a 2001 statement on "Tolerance and Non-Discrimination", pointed at violence against non-Serbs, stating that in the cities of Banja Luka[34] and Trebinje,[35] mobs attacked people who sought to lay foundations for new mosques.

Non-Serbs have reported continued difficulties in returning to their original homes and the assembly has a poor record of cooperation in apprehending individuals indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.[36]

Organizations such as the Society for Threatened Peoples, reporting to the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2008, claim discrimination against non-Serbian refugees in the Republika Srpska, particularly in the Drina Valley (Srebrenica, Bratunac, Višegrad, and Foča), with high unemployment. Separate schools for Croats and non-Croats were formed, and ethnic Croat students are taught using a Croatian curriculum, whereas Serb and Bosniak pupils are taught according to the curriculum prescribed by Bosnia and Herzegovina.[37]

According to the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

  • Government of Republika Srpska
  • President of Republika Srpska
  • People's Assembly of Republika Srpska
  • RS Institute of Statistics
  • The Constitution of Republika Srpska official document
  • Relevant laws of Republika Srpska
  • Republika Srpska ~ Moja Republika

External links

  1. ^ (Serbian) Srpska – Portal javne uprave Republike Srpske: Simboli at the Government of Republika Srpska official website (retrieved 17 May 2012).
  2. ^ "Constitution of the Republika Srpska, Official Web Site of the Office of the High Representative". 
  3. ^ a b "Preliminary Results of the 2013 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in Bosnia and Herzegovina" (PDF). Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 5 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Decision on Constitutional Amendments in Republika Srpska". Office of the High Representative. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Bosnia-Hercegovina profile". BBC. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Related Articles. "Serb Republic (region, Bosnia and Herzegovina) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "Bosnian Serb republic leader dies". BBC News. 30 September 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  8. ^ Moss, Paul (27 June 2009). "Bosnia echoes to alarming rhetoric". BBC News. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Lyon, James (4 December 2009). "Halting the downward spiral". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  10. ^ Beaumont, Peter (3 May 2009). "Bosnia lurches into a new crisis". The Guardian (London, UK). Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  11. ^ (20 July 2014). "Srpska is more sovereign than Serbia" (in Serbian). Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  12. ^  
  13. ^ Kecmanović, Nenad. "Dayton Is Not Lisbon".  
  14. ^ a b "The Decision on Establishment of the Assembly of the Serb People in Bosnia and Herzegovina". Official Gazette of the Serb People in Bosnia and Herzegovina (in Serbian) 1 (1): 1. 15 January 1992. 
  15. ^ Women, violence, and war: wartime ... Google Books. 2000.  
  16. ^ "The Declaration of Proclamation of the Republic of the Serb People of Bosnia and Herzegovina". Official Gazette of the Serb People in Bosnia and Herzegovina (in Serbian) 1 (2): 13–14. 27 January 1992. 
  17. ^ "The Constitution of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina". Official Gazette of the Serb People in Bosnia and Herzegovina (in Serbian) 1 (3): 17–26. 16 March 1992. 
  18. ^ Kreća, Milenko (11 July 1996). "The Legality of the Proclamation of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Independence in Light of the Internal Law of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" and "The Legality of the Proclamation of Independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Light of International Law" in "Dissenting Opinion of Judge Kreća" (PDF). Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Preliminary Objections, Judgment, I. C. J. Reports 1996 (The Hague: The Registry of the International Court of Justice): pp. 711–747. ISSN 0074-4441.
  19. ^ Bideleux, Robert; Jeffries, Ian. The Balkans: A Post-Communist History (2007, New York: Routledge), p. 343
  20. ^ Saving strangers: humanitarian. Google Books. 2000.  
  21. ^ "The Decision on Proclamation of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina".  
  22. ^ "The Amendments VII and VIII to the Constitution of the Republika Srpska". Official Gazette of the Republika Srpska (in Serbian) 1 (15): 569. 29 September 1992. 
  23. ^ "Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadžić – Second Amended Indictment" (PDF). UN  
  24. ^ "Prosecutor v. Ratko Mladic – Amended Indictment" (PDF). UN  
  25. ^ "The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  26. ^ "Constitution of Republika Srpska". The Constitutional Court of Republika Srpska. Retrieved 28 October 2015. 
  27. ^ UNESCO (1998). "Review of the education system in the Republika Srpska". Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  28. ^ The World Factbook,; accessed 8 April 2015.
  29. ^ Judah. The Serbs. Yale University Press. pp. 225–241.  
  30. ^ Press Online Republika Srpska: Od pola miliona, u FBiH ostalo 50.000 Srba,; accessed 8 April 2015.
  31. ^ "Written statement submitted by the Society for Threatened Peoples to the Commission of Human Rights; Sixtieth session Item 11 (d) of the provisional agenda". United Nations. 26 February 2004. p. 2. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  32. ^ a b Revidirana strategija Bosne i Hercegovine za provedbu Aneksa VII Dejtonskog mirovnog sporazuma. Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina (, October 2008; accessed 13 July 20