The Formation of Republika Srpska

Based on passages from the book Chronicle of an Announced Death, a piece "Bosnia 101" by Nikolaos A. Stavrou, and "Key Events In a Calendar of War" by Charles Miller, from the Press Association News file.

July 31st, 1990 - The Assembly of Bosnia-Hercegovina passes the amendments to the constritution whereby Bosnia-Hercegovina is proclaimed a democratic state of equal citizens and nations of Bosnia-Hercegovina

November 18th, 1990 - Multi-party elections are held. The Muslim party (Party of Democratic Action) wins 86 seats, the Serb party (Serbian Democratic Party) wins 72 seats, and the Croat party (Croatian Democratic Alliance) wins 44 seats. Despite Serb requests for a bicameral assembly, a unicameral assembly is formed. For the coming months until the war starts, all Serbian proposals are rejected.

October 14th, 1991 Without the Serbian members, the assembly passes a decision to hold a referendum on the future status of Bosnia-Hercegovina

October 24th, 1991 The assembly adopts a platform stating that Bosnia-Hercegovina will only remain in part of Yugoslavia on the condition that Serbia and Croatia remain in it. By "coincidence", Croatia had declared independence from Yugoslavia 2 weeks before.
The 72 members of the Serb assembly immediately withdraw - the formation of a separate Serb government begins.

December 21st, 1991 Bosnian Serbs proclaim a desire against independence from Yugoslavia proposed by Muslims and Croats

January 9th, 1992 "Republic Day" for Republika Srpska. First official proclamation of Republika Srpska.

February 29, 1992 First day of public referendum on independence, which is boycotted by the Serbs.

March 1st, 1992 - On the second day of the referendum on indepedence, gunfire breaks up a Sarajevo wedding procession in front of the Serbian Orthodox church in Bascarsija. The father of the groom is killed, the priest is wounded, and the church's Orthodox flag is burned.

March 2nd, 1992 In the absence of police action to arrest the assassins, Serbs erect barricades in Sarajevo, and the Muslims respond by erecting their own. Sarajevo henceforth becomes a divided city.

March 3rd, 1992 Bosnian independence confirmed in Muslim-Croat referendum

March 18th, 1992 The leaders of the three ethnic groups of Bosnia gather in Lisbon, Portugal to reach a consensus prior to the declaration of independence. A Swiss-like federation is agreed upon, whereupon the Serbs had 44% of the territory for local administrative purposes. The Lisbon Agreement is torpedoed ten days later by then U.S. ambassador to Belgrade, Warren Zimmerman, who convinces Izetbegovic to withdraw his signature.

April 4th, 1992 A session of the presidency of Bosnia-Hercegovina is convened. The Serbian members of the presidency are not invited. The remaining members of the presidency suspended the constitution without Serbian consent.

April 4th, 1992 The Muslim-Croat presidency decides to mobilise the units of territorial defense, police, and civil protection forces.

April 6th, 1992 - The European Community recognizes the sovereignty of Bosnia-Hercegovina, a state without defined borders or established competences, with a suspended constitution and an illegal presidency.

April 7th, 1992 In Banja Luka, after a long meeting, the delegates of the Serbian Assembly proclaim their indepedent Republika Srpska.

(Note, I have conflicting dates for this... one from a Serbian source and one from an article by Sir Russell Johnston which places it at March 27th. Does anyone have a definite answer? If in fact it was March 27th, that would mean that the European Community recognized Bosnia-Hercegovina after the country was already in the process of disintigration. Actually, I am right now trying to find out what exactly happened on Dec. 21st, Jan. 9th, March 27th, and April 7th, since they all have something to do with RS's declaration of independence. I am trying to find out what the precise significance of these dates is.)

Back to the Republika Srpska Homepage