Formerly one of Yugoslavia’s six federal units, Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter Bosnia or BiH) achieved independent status following the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, which was brought to an end in 1995 by the Dayton Peace Agreement. The war, fought between Serb, Croat, and Bosniak groups, left over 100,000 dead and almost 2 million displaced.
The Dayton Accords divided BiH into two parts, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), and the Republika Srpska (RS) or Serbian Republic. The accords also created the Office of the High Representative (OHR) to oversee the implementation of the civilian aspects of the peace agreement on behalf of the international community, thereby making BiH function as an “international protectorate.”
In 2006, BiH entered the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) program, entailing a new set of SSR objectives. In the latest of a series of steps towards eventual membership, Bosnia was presented with a Membership Action Plan (MAP) by NATO on April 22, 2010. In June 2008, BiH signed a Stabilization Association Agreement with the European Union, representing the first step towards eventual EU membership.
SSR in BiH has largely been an internationally driven process through the OHR and now the EUSR. Though there is broad consensus on the part of the international community about the reforms required for NATO and EU membership, political deadlock and a lack of political will on the part of Serb, Croat and Bosniak political groups has made structural reform in BiH difficult.