Wednesday, March 29, 2017
St. Louis Bosnians

Bosnia and Herzegovina Independence Day Celebrating 22 Years

Today marks the twenty-second anniversary of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) independence. On this day in 1992, out of the 64 percent of BiH’s constituents that voted in the independence referendum, 99.4 percent voted for independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Since then, BiH has faced some of the greatest challenges seen in Europe since World War II.

After the declaration of independence, BiH suffered genocide and ethnic cleansing. The war of aggression against BiH left over 100,000 dead, over 2 million displaced and over 20,000 Bosniak Muslim women and girls raped. Although BiH has made progress in the face of nearly insurmountable challenges, the recent public protests have once again turned international attention to BiH. Almost twenty years after the war, Bosnians across the country have taken to the streets to demand an end to corruption and an ineffective system of governance that has stressed ethnicity over democracy.

Continuous ethnically charged rhetoric and the unrelenting denial of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Srebrenica and other sites of mass atrocity by Republika Srpska’s political leaders is unacceptable. The spread of ethno-nationalism does not pave way towards Euro-Atlantic integration and only perpetuates an atmosphere of fear and hate among various ethnic groups and enforces artificial separatism within BiH. Strong leadership and guidance from the United States of America is vital to BiH’s democratization process as BiH’s progress and eventual Euro-Atlantic integration is crucial to the stability of the entire Southeast Europe region.

Today, ACBH honors the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina at home and abroad as they continue to demand justice and social change. ACBH commends BiH’s citizens who are working to move the country forward and towards EU and NATO.

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ACBH is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of Bosnian Americans and works to improve relations between the United States and BiH. ACBH advocates for a united, democratic, multiethnic, and indivisible BiH with a primary goal of advancing the integration of BiH into the EU and NATO.  

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About The Author

stlbosnians

The St. Louis Bosnian is an online database of Bosnian community in St. Louis. The purpose is to document and preserve existence of the Bosnian immigrant community in metropolitan St. Louis area. Through published books, articles, interviews, researches, videos, photos as well as speaker series, seminars, workshops and educational classes. We hope to leave the legacy of our community to the future generations.

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