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Implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement:
The Bosnian Federation

Fact Sheet prepared by the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs, November 7, 1996

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  • The Dayton Peace Agreement created a new constitutional structure for Bosnia, consisting of the internationally recognized state of Bosnia and Herzegovina with two constituent entities­­the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska.
  • Although the Federation is currently headed by President Kresimir Zubak (Bosnian Croat), Vice President Ejup Ganic (Bosniak) and Prime Minister Izudin Kapetanovic (Bosniak), the newly elected upper and lower legislative houses will soon meet to select a new Federation President and Vice President, who in turn will nominate a new Prime Minister.
  • The Federation is a critical element for the political future of the country. Its success is essential in moving the peace process forward. Since the end of hostilities, progress in establishing a functioning Federation government has been steady.
  • Last March, the Bosniak and Bosnian Croat parties had agreed, under the auspices of the High Representative and the United States, to abolish internal customs duties and ensure that revenue collected would flow to the Federation treasury. As a result, a single Federation Customs Administration is now operating. Revenue collected by the Federation Customs Administration will be four or five times the amount budgeted for this year.
  • In mid-May, the Federation partners met at Blair House under the auspices of the Federation Forum. They agreed to pass a Federation Defense Law which established a single Ministry of Defense and a joint command structure. The Federation legislature approved the Defense Law on July 9, 1996 and which went into effect at the end of August, 1996.
  • The Federation Partners also agreed at Blair House to establish financial institutions which would promote economic recovery and reiterated their commitment to guarantee a politically neutral environment and freedom of speech.
  • At the end of July 1996, the Federation took a major step forward toward becoming a functioning reality when its Assembly confirmed a government of 15 ministries. In accordance with the new Federation constitution, these ministries are in the process of assuming the responsibilities previously exercised on Federation territory by the Republic government and by the Bosnian Croat authorities.
  • In August, the parties agreed to abolish the Croat administrative structure of "Herceg-Bosna" and set up a strict timetable for the final consolidation of Federation institutions. The parties also agreed in August on steps to delineate institutional responsibilities of the Federation and of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina in such areas as internal affairs, finance, transport, communications, trade, energy, justice and industry.
  • On October 25, the Federation partners agreed on the basic principles of the future organization of Sarajevo and on the design of a flag and insignia for the Federation. All cantonal assemblies of the Federation have now been formed based on the results of the September 14 elections. Finally, the International Police Task Force (IPTF) will, at the request of the Federation President and Vice President, prepare draft police laws for all cantons.
  • The agreement reached at the February Rome Conference on the configuration of the city of Mostar, has been implemented. Joint police patrols are continuing in the city's work toward establishing freedom of movement throughout the city for both groups. On October 15, the WEU turned over its police monitoring responsibilities in the city center of Mostar to the IPTF, which now oversees the Unified Police Force.

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