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The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine, ?????????? ????? ? ???????????, listen (help·info)) is one of the two political entities that compose the modern country of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the other entity is the Republika Srpska). The two entities are delineated by the Inter-Entity Boundary Line.

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is primarily inhabited by Bosniaks and Croats, which is why it is informally referred to as the Bosniak-Croat Federation. However, by decision of the Constitutional court in 2001, the Serbs were declared the third constituent ethnic group of the Federation. The same happened to Bosniaks and Croats in the Republika Srpska.

The Federation was created by the Washington accords signed on March 18, 1994, which established a Constituent assembly (Ustavotvorna skupština/Ustavotvorbeni Sabor). The Constituent assembly continued its work until October 1996.

The Federation now has its own capital, government, flag and coat of arms, president, parliament, customs and police departments, postal system (in fact, two of them), and airline (BH Airlines). It has its own army, the Vojska Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine, though it is under the control of the state-level Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry of Defense, as is the Vojska Republike Srpske. Entity armies (including Vojska Republike Srpske) should have been united by the end of the 2005 and entity-level Ministry of Defense and their armies should have been abolished by January 1, 2006. It now seems that a unified army will be created by the end of 2007,[4] although some units have already been merged.[5]


History

Map of the ethnic composition in BIH in early 1995, showing ethnic composition and territory held by Bosnian government and Bosnian Croat forces of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and 'Narodna Odbrana / Peoples' defense' forces of 'Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia'.The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was formed by the Washington Agreement of May 1994. Under the agreement, the combined territory held by the Croat and Armija RBiH forces was divided into ten autonomous cantons. The cantonal system was selected to prevent dominance by one ethnic group over another.

In 1995, Bosnian government forces and Bosnian Croat forces of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina defeated forces of the 'Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia', thus this area was also included in Federation.

By the Dayton Agreement of 1995, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was defined as one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina and included 51% of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina (another entity, Republika Srpska included 49%).

On March 8, 2000, the Brcko District was formed as an autonomous entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina and it was created from part of the territory of both Bosnian entities. Brcko District is now a shared territory that belongs to both entities.

Discussions about the institutional future of Bosnia and Herzegovina include several options, one of them favored by many Croats being the possible creation of a third, Croatian entity within BIH.


Administrative divisions

Cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is divided into ten cantons (kanton or županija):

Una-Sana, Unsko-Sanski Kanton
Posavina, Posavski Kanton
Tuzla, Tuzlanski Kanton
Zenica-Doboj, Zenicko-Dobojski Kanton
Bosnian Podrinje, Bosanskopodrinjski Kanton
Central Bosnia, Srednjebosanski Kanton
Herzegovina-Neretva, Hercegovacko-neretvanski Kanton
West Herzegovina, Zapadnohercegovacki kanton
Sarajevo, Kanton Sarajevo
Canton 10, Kanton 10.[6]
Five of the cantons (Una-Sana, Tuzla, Zenica-Doboj, Bosnian Podrinje and Sarajevo) are Bosniak majority cantons, three (Posavina, West Herzegovina and Canton 10) are Croat majority cantons, and two (Central Bosnia and Herzegovina-Neretva) are 'ethnically mixed', meaning there are special legislative procedures for protection of the constituent ethnic groups.

A significant portion of Brcko District was also part of the Federation; however, when the district was created, it became shared territory of both entities, but it was not placed under control of either of the two, and is hence under direct jurisdiction of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Currently the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has 79 municipalities.


Cities

Largest cities in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.List of the largest cities in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Sarajevo
Zenica
Tuzla
Mostar
Bihac
Bugojno
Brcko
Travnik
Cazin
Velika Kladuša
Visoko
Goražde
Konjic
Gracanica
Gradacac
Bosanska Krupa
Zavidovici
Živinice
Sanski Most
Lukavac
Kakanj
Livno
Odžak
Note: the town of Brcko is part of the Brcko District, which is part of both, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska.


Demographics

Map of largest ethnic group for Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2006 municipality data (estimates).
Bosnian Serbs

Bosnian Croats

BosniaksThe Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina comprises 51% of the land area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is home to around 60% of the country's total population. All data dealing with population, including ethnic distributions, are subject to considerable error because of the lack of official census figures.


1991
In 1991, the population of the territory of present-day Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina numbered 2,757,888 inhabitants, including: [1]

Bosniaks = 1,436,498 (52.1%)
Croats = 610,458 (22.1%)
Serbs = 485,933 (17.6%)
others = 224,999 (8.2%)

1996
In 1996, the population of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina numbered 2,444,665 inhabitants, including: [2]

Bosniaks = 1,773,566 (72.5%)
Croats = 556,289 (22.8%)
Serbs = 56,618 (2.3%)
others = 58,192 (2.4%)

Institutions
There is a President of the Federation, and two Vice-presidents thereof, just like in Republika Srpska.

From 2003 until 2007 the president was Croat, Niko Lozancic of the HDZ party, whereas both the Bosniak (Sahbaz Džihanovic) and Serb (Desnica Radivojevic) Vice-presidents came from the SDA party.

The current President is Croat, Borjana Krišto (HDZ), the Bosniak Vice-President is Mirsad Kebo (SDA) and the Serb Vice-President is Spomenka Micic (SBiH).

The Cabinet has 16 members with carefully delineated nationality quotas. There are 8 Bosniak, 5 Croat and 3 Serb ministers in the current Government. The Prime minister from 2003 until 2007 was a Bosniak, Ahmet Hadžipašic of the SDA. As of March, 2007, the prime minister is Nedžad Brankovic, also Bosniak of the SDA.

The Parliament consists of two houses, the House of Representatives and the House of Peoples. The House of Representatives is an elected body of 98 MPs, whereas the House of Peoples consists of Representatives delegated by the cantonal parliaments.

Interestingly, a number of institutions in the Federation still function under the 'componental' system; there is a Croat postal system and a Bosniak postal system, a Croat telecom and a Bosniak telecom, a Croat army component and a Bosniak army component; however, recently many systems have been merged into one single public company, e.g. the pension system or the public broadcasting company of the Federation. Each of the cantons also has broad-ranging authorities, such as having its own courts and police forces.

Federation currently has its own entity police force. Police systems including entity ministries of security of both entities are to be united by 2010 into a new state-level Ministry of Security and entity level police forces are to abolished and replaced with state level police force under regional control.

Armies of both entities are under the control of a new state-level Ministry of Defence as of January 1, 2006.