Republika Srpska

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Република Српска
Republika Srpska
Flag of Republika Srpska.svg Seal of Republika Srpska.svg
flag coat of arms
Kroatien Albanien Serbien Montenegro Republika Srpska Republika Srpska Brčko-Distrikt Föderation Bosnien und Herzegowina Föderation Bosnien und Herzegowina Föderation Bosnien und Herzegowinamap
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Location in Bosnia and Herzegovina
status Entity of Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina 
capital city Banja Luka ( seat of government) ;
Sarajevo (de jure)
Official languages Serbian , Bosnian , Croatian
founding January 9, 1992
president Milorad Dodik ( SNSD )
Prime Minister Radovan Višković ( SNSD )
surface 24,641 km²
resident 1,228,423 (2013)
Population density 53 inhabitants per km²
anthem Moja Republika ("My Republic")

The Republika Srpska ( RS ,  [ rɛpǔblika Srpska ] , Serbian - Cyrillic Република Српска / РС even Srpska and in the German-speaking falsely Republika Srpska or Serbian Republic called) is next to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina one of two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and is located in Southeast Europe . Please click to listen!Play

It has existed since the Bosnian War , is now mostly inhabited by Bosnian Serbs and has its own political system with independent legislative , executive and judicial branches . The capital is the Republika Srpska under Article 9 of the Constitution , the city of Sarajevo , which is not even in the Republika Srpska. The de facto capital, however, is the largest city of Banja Luka with almost 200,000 inhabitants , which has been the seat of government as well as the administrative, economic and cultural center since 1998 .

The area was a site of the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia . War crimes were committed, including the Srebrenica massacre .


The Republika Srpska covers 24,857 km², which is almost 49% of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina . Its territory includes the north and east of Bosnia and the east of Herzegovina . There is no territorial connection between the two parts to the west and east of Brčko . The corridor , a few kilometers wide , through which they were connected in the past, is now part of the Brčko district , which, as a condominium of both entities, is under direct control of the state as a whole. The borders of the Republika Srpska enclose the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the north and east. The territory of the Republika Srpska borders on Croatia in the north, Serbia in the east, Montenegro in the south-east and again briefly on Croatia.

The main cities of the Republika Srpska are:


The Republika Srpska was proclaimed on January 9, 1992 under the name Srpska Republika Bosna i Hercegovina and received its current name on August 12, 1992. With the Dayton Peace Agreement of 1995, the Republika Srpska was recognized as one of two entities of the entire state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On March 1, 1992, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared itself independent from Yugoslavia after a referendum, which revealed that over 99% of the voters wanted this. After Radovan Karadžić called for a boycott, the turnout was 67%.

The war goal of the Bosnian-Serbian leadership in the subsequent war in Bosnia was to conquer as large parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina as possible and to unite them with Serbia at a later date in the sense of a Greater Serbia. She received significant support from the Milošević regime. This resulted in numerous "ethnic cleansing" and other war crimes against Bosniaks (for example the Srebrenica massacre , which is classified as genocide ) and Croats .

In the Dayton Agreement , the Republika Srpska with 49% of the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was recognized as an entity of the newly constituted state of Bosnia and Herzegovina . In the area are cities such as Srebrenica , Višegrad and Foča , whose Bosniak or Croatian populations were expelled or murdered. The return of the displaced is made more difficult, among other things, by the persistent nationalism of the leadership of the Republika Srpska.

In October 2021, the Parliament of the Republika Srpska decided to split off from the Medicines Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thereupon the highest public prosecutor opened an investigation into suspicion of "violation of the constitutional order of Bosnia and Herzegovina".

In December 2021, the Parliament of the Republika Srpska decided to decouple from the judicial and tax system and from the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of the opposition stayed away from the vote.


The Republika Srpska had 1,228,423 inhabitants at the 2013 census. The largest ethnic group, with 1,001,299 people (81.5%), were the Serbs , although their share had tended to decrease again since the end of the 1990s due to the return of Bosniak and Croatian refugees. However, the return of Bosniak and Croatian refugees has slowed down again. In addition to the Serbs, Bosniaks with 171,839 (14%) and Croats with 29,645 people (2.4%) are also considered to be constitutive ethnic groups. In addition, 25,640 other people (2.1%) live in the Republika Srpska who do not profess any of the three nationalities. The Serbs are mainly Serbian Orthodox and use both Cyrillic and Latin script. The Bosniaks are mostly Muslim , the Croatians Catholic . Both use the Latin script.

The population structure in the Republika Srpska is shaped by the " ethnic cleansing " during the Bosnian war . Many non-Serbian residents were expelled or murdered with the aim of creating a Serb majority. On the other hand, Serbs fled from other parts of the country and from Croatia to the Republika Srpska during and after the war. In large parts of today's entity there was no absolute Serb majority before the war, especially in the east ( Višegrad , Foča , Srebrenica , Zvornik ) and in the north ( Doboj , Derventa , Prijedor ). Instead, in most of the areas mentioned, the Bosniaks were the largest ethnic group.

At the beginning of the war in 1992 there were numerous murders and other crimes, including in the areas around Višegrad, Prijedor and Foča . In Srebrenica massacre Bosniaks were killed in July alone 1995 until 8000th In other areas, the Serbian population was also affected by displacement and other war crimes.

Military and political leaders have been charged with war crimes and convicted by the International Criminal Court .

Under the Dayton Agreement , all war refugees have the right to return to their homes.

Because of the precarious situation with regard to the return of expropriated property, the resentment towards the Bosniak and Croatian returnees, and because of the obstacles posed by the Bosnian-Serbian authorities, the vast majority of the displaced Bosniaks and Croats have not returned, and some of them want to no return.


Sokolac Rogatica Rudo Višegrad Pale Foča Gacko Kalinovik Nevesinje Bileća Trebinje Ravno Ljubinje Konjic Istočni Mostar Berkovići Neum Mostar Stolac Čapljina Čajniče Goražde Pale-Prača Ustiprača Foča-Ustikolina Srebrenica Bratunac Milići Han Pijesak Zvornik Bijeljina Brčko Ugljevik Lopare Vlasenica Šekovići Osmaci Olovo Ilijaš Hadžići Ilidža Trnovo Istočni Stari Grad Istočna Ilidža Vogošća Sarajevo-Stari Grad Sarajevo-Centar Sarajevo-Novi Grad Istočno Novo Sarajevo Novo Sarajevo Visoko Glamoč Livno Bosansko Grahovo Kupres Kupres (RS) Šipovo Jajce Donji Vakuf Bugojno Gornji Vakuf Prozor-Rama Jablanica Tomislavgrad Posušje Grude Široki Brijeg Ljubuški Čitluk Fojnica Kreševo Kiseljak Busovača Novi Travnik Travnik Zenica Vitez Kakanj Vareš Breza Kladanj Živinice Kalesija Sapna Teočak Tuzla Lukavac Čelić Srebrenik Banovići Zavidovići Žepče Maglaj Tešanj Usora Dobretići Gradačac Gračanica Doboj Istok Velika Kladuša Cazin Bužim Bosanska Krupa Bihać Bosanski Petrovac Drvar Sanski Most Ključ Petrovac (RS) Istočni Drvar Ribnik Mrkonjić Grad Jezero Kneževo Kotor Varoš Teslić Banja Luka Oštra Luka Krupa na Uni Prijedor Novi Grad Kostajnica Kozarska Dubica Gradiška Srbac Laktaši Čelinac Prnjavor Derventa Doboj Stanari Modriča Brod Pelagićevo Donji Žabar Orašje Domaljevac-Šamac Šamac Odžak Vukosavlje
The political division of Bosnia and Herzegovina (clickable map, Republika Srpska in red)

houses of Parliament

The Parliament of the Republika Srpska consists of two chambers. The National Assembly has 83 members. There is also a Council of Nations with 28 members, in which eight Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats as well as four members of other ethnic groups are represented. The citizens directly elect the President and Vice-Presidents of the Republika Srpska.

State powers

According to the constitution, foreign policy , foreign trade , customs and currency policy , migration issues , international law enforcement, telecommunications and air traffic sovereignty fall under the jurisdiction of the entire state of Bosnia and Herzegovina . Since 2006, the state level has been responsible for defense policy and armed forces . All other areas are regulated at the entity level.

Party landscape and elections

As a result of the elections in October 2002, the previous governing parties, SDS and PDP, were again able to form the government together with the SDA, despite losing votes . Dragan Mikerević (PDP) became prime minister in early 2003 . After the constitutional amendments of April 2002, Bosniaks and Croats belong to the government of the Republika Srpska for the first time. Dragan Čavić (SDS) became the new president . For the first time, a Croat ( Ivan Tomljenović , SDP) and a Bosniak ( Adil Osmanović , SDA) were appointed vice-presidents.

Prime Minister Mikerević resigned in December 2004 in protest against sanctions imposed on the Republika Srpska by the High Representative of the international community, Paddy Ashdown , for a lack of cooperation with the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. His successor was the former Minister of Industry Pero Bukejlović (SDS). The SDA was ousted from the government. In 2005 the PDP defined itself as the opposition, so that the government lost a majority in the National Assembly.

In the October 2006 elections, the SNSD (Alliance of Independent Social Democrats) led by Milorad Dodik to replace the SDS as the strongest party in the Republika Srpska. The SNSD was able to double its share of the vote to over 40% both in the elections for the state House of Representatives and for the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska. The SDS, which previously received around 40% of the vote, fell back to just under 20%. This balance of power remained roughly the same even after the elections in October 2010.

President of the Republika Srpska

Surname Beginning of the term of office Term expires Political party
Radovan Karadžić April 7, 1992 July 19, 1996 SDS
Biljana Plavšić July 19, 1996 November 4, 1998 SDS
Nikola Poplašen November 4, 1998 September 2, 1999 SRS
Mirko Šarović January 26, 2000 November 28, 2002 SDS
Dragan Čavić November 28, 2002 November 9, 2006 SDS
Milan Jelić November 9, 2006 September 30, 2007 SNSD
Igor Radojičić October 1, 2007 December 28, 2007 SNSD
Rajko Kuzmanović December 28, 2007 November 16, 2010 SNSD
Milorad Dodik November 16, 2010 19th November 2018 SNSD
Željka Cvijanović 19th November 2018 officiating SNSD

prime minister

Surname Beginning of the term of office Term expires Political party
Miodrag Simović December 21, 1991 April 22, 1992 SDS
Branko Djeric April 22, 1992 January 20, 1993 SDS
Vladimir Lukic January 20, 1993 August 18, 1994 SDS
Dušan Kozić August 18, 1994 October 16, 1995 SDS
Rajko Kasagic October 16, 1995 May 18, 1996 SDS
Gojko Kličković May 18, 1996 January 31, 1998 SDS
Milorad Dodik January 31, 1998 January 16, 2001 SNSD
Mladen Ivanić January 16, 2001 January 17, 2003 PDP
Dragan Mikerević January 17, 2003 February 17, 2005 PDP
Pero Bukejlović February 17, 2005 February 28, 2006 SDS
Milorad Dodik (second term) February 28, 2006 November 15, 2010 SNSD
Anton Kasipović November 15, 2010 February 3, 2011 non-party
Aleksandar Džombić February 3, 2011 13th March 2013 SNSD
Željka Cvijanović 13th March 2013 19th November 2018 SNSD
Radovan Višković 19th November 2018 officiating SNSD

Members of the Government of the Republika Srpska (April 1, 2015)

prime minister Željka Cvijanović
Finance minister Zoran Tegeltija
Interior minister Dragan Lukač
Justice Minister Anton Kasipović
Minister for Administration and Local Self-Government Lejla Rešić
Minister for Economy and Regional Cooperation Zlatan Klokić
Minister for Labor and Social Affairs Milenko Savanović
Minister for Trade and Tourism Predrag Gluhaković
Minister for Industry, Energy and Mining Petar Đokić
Minister for Transport and Communication Neđo Trninić
Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Stevo Mirjanic
Minister for Regional Planning, Building and Ecology Srebrenka Golić
Minister for Education and Culture Dane Malešević
Minister for Refugees and Displaced Persons Before that, Čordaš
Minister for Health and Social Security Dragan Bogdanić
Minister of Science and Technology Jasmin Komić
Minister for Family, Youth and Sport Jasmina Davidović

Source: Vlada Republike Srpske

Administrative division

The Opštinas of the Republika Srpska

The Republika Srpska consists of 63  Opštine (union communities; Bosnian , Croatian ; Općine ), which are shown in red on the map. The Brčko condominium , shown in green on the map, formally belongs to both entities, but is largely self-governing.


The existence of the Republika Srpska has been criticized in particular by Bosniak parties. The complaint is that it is not a historical entity, but that it was largely the result of the ethnic cleansing carried out by Bosnian Serbs during the war from 1992 to 1995 and was then recognized as an entity by the Dayton Peace Agreement . On the other hand, some representatives of the Bosnian Serbs generally question Bosnia and Herzegovina's right to exist as an independent state, since the separation of the Republic from Yugoslavia was controversial among international lawyers and was carried out without the Serbian population, which was a constitutive ethnic group at the time, and thus never with a two - A third majority was approved in a referendum . It is also pointed out that Serbs have lived in this area for centuries or have been expelled from other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, before 1992 there was never a dedicated Serbian state in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is calling for the Republika Srpska to be more closely integrated into the Bosnian state association. Because of this and in the course of the split of Montenegro from the confederation with Serbia , as well as the negotiations on the sovereignty of the Serbian province of Kosovo , which is under UN administration , the voices in the Republika Srpska on an independence referendum from Bosnia and Herzegovina became louder again.

According to an opinion poll carried out in June 2006, a majority of the residents of the Republika Srpska support such an approach. However, since an independence referendum is not provided for in the Dayton Agreement , which contains the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this is rejected by the international community. The Serbian side countered this by stating that Kosovo's independence was also incompatible with a valid international resolution, UN resolution 1244 of 1999, but that Kosovo was nevertheless led to partially recognized independence in 2008.


Cyrillic road signs

The Cyrillic version of Serbian is predominantly written on official signage and documents in the Republika Srpska . In the constitution, however, both Cyrillic and Latin script are expressly mentioned as official scripts.

Dispute over coat of arms and anthem

Old coat of arms from January 9, 1992 to June 16, 2007
Welcome board of the Republika Srpska in Lukavica , a district of Sarajevo

On May 31, 2006, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared the coat of arms and the anthem of the Republika Srpska as well as the coat of arms, the anthem and the flag of the Federation to be unconstitutional. The ruling took effect on June 16, 2007. While the government of the Republika Srpska commissioned the development of a new coat of arms that complies with the constitution and temporarily introduced a so-called emblem , the national emblems of the entire state of Bosnia and Herzegovina are used in the federation instead of the old coat of arms, which is criticized by the Republika Srpska .

The Serbian hymn Bože Pravde , previously used in the RS, was replaced in July 2008 by the composition Moja Republika (My Republic) by Mladen Matović.


In the Republika Srpska in 2002 the manufacturing industry (44.2%), energy , gas , steam and water supply (42.3%) and mining (13.5%) dominated. In the manufacturing sector, food production dominated , followed by the petrochemical industry and metal processing .

The unemployment rate for the Republika Srpska is estimated at around 50% (for comparison: Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina 41.6%, State as a whole 43.3%). If one takes into account the flourishing shadow economy , the IMF and World Bank estimate the average real unemployment in the Republika Srpska at around 20 to 25%. The average net income in the Republika Srpska in July 2013 was 803  KM (for comparison in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: 817 KM).

The Republika Srpska mainly exports to Serbia and Montenegro (49.1%), Italy (11.1%), Croatia (8.9%) and Slovenia (6.0%). The largest importers are Serbia and Montenegro (25.6%), Slovenia (11.4%), Croatia (10.9%) and Austria (7.6%).

In 2006 an extensive investment program of 1.5 billion KM was decided in the Republika Srpska. This was largely made possible by the income from the privatization (sale) of Telekom Srpske and the petrochemical industry. One of the investment projects is the construction of a highway from Banja Luka to Gradiška with an investment volume of 271.4 million KM. A further expansion of the motorway network is planned. Private investors are also interested in building new coal and hydropower plants.


  • Erich Rathfelder: intersection Sarajevo. Ten years after the war. 2nd Edition. Verlag Hans Schiler, Berlin 2007, ISBN 3-89930-108-0 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Constitution of the Republika Srpska (PDF; 470 kB) Article 7: "The official languages ​​of the Republika Srpska are the language of the Serbian people, the language of the Bosniak people and the language of the Croatian people."
  2. ^ Republički zavod za statistiku: Ovo je Republika Srpska . (PDF; 4.5 MB) Banja Luka 2014
  3. Agencija za statistiku of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Description stanovništva, domaćinstava i stanova u i Bosni Hercegovini, 2013. Rezultati popisa. (pdf, 19.7 MB) Sarajevo, June 2016; P. 54
  4. Constitution in Serbian (PDF), page of the parliament of the Brčko district
  5. Degree Banja Luka ., website of the Association of Municipalities and Cities of the Republic of Serbia
  6. Wolfgang Graf Vitzthum, Marcus Mack: Multiethnischer Föderalismus in Bosnien -Herzegowina , pp. 86 f. In Vitzthum (Ed.): European Federalism , Berlin, 2000, pp. 81-136
  7. Jürgen Elvert (Ed.): The Balkans. Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-515-07016-8 , p. 256.
  8. (PDF)
  9. Thomas Schmid: Living dead. In Srebrenica, Muslims and Serbs practice difficult togetherness after the war. Everyday life is characterized by poverty and hopelessness . In: Berliner Zeitung , November 18, 2009
  11. a b Bosnia-Herzegovina: Serbian sub-region deprives central government of competences . In: The mirror . December 11, 2021, ISSN  2195-1349 ( [accessed December 11, 2021]).
  12. a b c ( Memento from July 13, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF)
  13. Agencija za statistiku of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Description stanovništva, domaćinstava i stanova u i Bosni Hercegovini, 2013. Rezultati popisa. (pdf, 19.7 MB) Sarajevo, June 2016; P. 54
  14. Vlada Republike Srpske: Članovi Vlade , accessed on April 1, 2015
  15. Serb Bosnians Support Independence. Angus Reid Global Monitor, July 10, 2006 ( Memento of December 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  16. ( Memento from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  17. Pet RJEŠENJA za novi grb Republike Srpske .
  18. Novi amblem Republike Srpske . B92, Vesti
  19. ( Memento from January 6, 2013 in the Internet Archive )

Coordinates: 44 ° 45 '  N , 17 ° 15'  E