Bosnia and Herzegovina. Only in January, just over three months after the parliamentary elections in the autumn of 2002, did Bosnia and Herzegovina get a new government with Adnan Terzić as prime minister. Terzić, representative of the Muslim Nationalist SDA, became the first head of government after the Civil War, which was appointed for a four-year term.
According to Countryaah.com, Bosnia and Herzegovina Independence Day is March 1. The Serbs’ representative in the three-part presidency, Mirko Šarović, resigned in April after being named in a scandal involving a state-owned company that sold military equipment to Iraq in violation of the UN arms embargo. Šarović was replaced by Borislav Paravac.
The work of trying to unite the divided country continued with cautious steps. At the beginning of the year, a Supreme Court and a Prosecutor’s Office were set up for all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Later, the military in both sub-republics agreed to approach each other to try to enable future NATO membership. The former enemy armies declared themselves ready to obey a joint defense minister and commander-in-chief, and to perform in uniforms. The Bosnian authorities also decided to set up their own war crimes tribunal to try crimes committed during the 1992-95 war.
At the same time, work continued at the UN Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. At the beginning of the year, the verdict fell against former Bosnian president Biljana Plavšić. She had pleaded guilty to crimes against humanity in exchange for the charge of genocide being withdrawn. The acknowledgment and the regret she showed made the punishment relatively mild; she received eleven years in prison. In June she came to Sweden to serve her sentence under a settlement with the court. Among others convicted during the year were the Bosnian Serb doctor Milomir Stakić. crimes against humanity. He received life imprisonment, the most severe punishment so far awarded by the tribunal. Stakić was convicted of being the mayor of the ethnic cleansing plans in the district around Prijedor, as mayor.
During a visit to Sarajevo in November, Serbia and Montenegro’s President Svetozar Marović apologized to the Bosnia and Herzegovina people for apologizing for the war and for the atrocities committed by the Serbs.
In October, 78-year-old Alija Izetbegović, who was the leader of the Muslims during the war, passed away. Tens of thousands of people gathered in Sarajevo during the funeral. Izetbegović had the support of the outside world during the war, but his position became more isolated afterwards when his party SDA ran a nationalist line. After his death, the UN General Court in The Hague also revealed that he was under investigation for war crimes. The investigation was closed with his apostasy.