The declaration of sovereignty in October of 1991, was followed by a referendum for independence from the former Yugoslavia in February of 1992. Three years of bloody civil war between the Orthodox, Catholic, and Muslim Bosnians followed. This war was fueled by Yugoslavia under Slobodan Milosevic and Croatia under Franjo Tudjman in what appeared to be attempts to take over the region. The Bosnian Catholics and Orthodox considered themselves to be Croats and Serbs, respectively. This was due in large part to the nationalistic movements in this region that started in the 19th century. The Bosnian Muslims where ethnically claimed by Croats and Serbs. Especially in the beginning of the influence of the Ottoman Empire, children of Catholic and Orthodox Bosnians were separated from their families and raised to be members of the Yeni Ceri (new troops) and became Muslims. During this times there was also a heavy migration of Orthodox Serbs from the region around Belgrade, which settled in the north of Bosnia. Also Orthodox Valachs[?] from todays Romania settled in this area and mixed with the Serb population. Many have also moved to today's Croatia in a region which was called Morlachia and came under Catholic influence.
On November 21, 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties signed a peace agreement that brought to a halt the inter-ethnic civil strife (the final agreement was signed in Paris on December 14, 1995). The Dayton Agreement divides Bosnia and Herzegovina roughly equally between the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska[?]. In 1995-1996, 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 is to deter renewed hostilities. SFOR remains in place, with about 20,000 troops as of August 2001.
Through out this conflict the international community, especially the United Nations, have made fatal errors in evaluating the whole situation.
The United Nations' International Police Task Force[?] in Bosnia was replaced at the end of 2002 by the European Union Police Mission, the first such police training and monitoring taskforce from the European Union.
Much of the material in these articles comes from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.