Security and Conflicts in Bosnia

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a relatively safe country for tourists in terms of the criminal situation. However, a serious problem is inter-ethnic hostility and fragmentation. The three main communities that make up the population of the Federation (Muslim Bosnians, Croats, and Serbs) still live completely separately in enclaves and have little overlap in ordinary life. It is impossible to get to some Serbian regions by public transport, or vice versa to leave them in Muslim quarters.

The country has a very high unemployment rate, which is the cause of serious social tensions in society.

It is recommended to avoid isolated areas, including remote areas of settlements, after dark. At the household level, there are frequent cases of petty fraud or a supposedly suddenly appeared language barrier, so you should be especially careful when discussing financial issues and never give money in advance before providing a service.

Until recently, there was a certain risk of being in the zone of terrorist attacks, which are usually undertaken against the cult places of the “opposing side”, as well as against civilian objects, including places frequented by foreigners. Now the situation as a whole has returned to normal, but we follow the tourist, in any case, to be careful and follow the situation in the country.

Ethnic groups and conflicts

Bosnia and Herzegovina is actually divided into three large enclaves on a national basis, which also extends to the external borders of the country. The northern and eastern parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina are controlled by Serbs (the so-called Serbian Krajina), Muslims control the south of the country and part of the border with Croatia, and Croats control the west of the country.

It is strictly not recommended to show your political sympathies if you are not sure who you are dealing with. Externally, the inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina are no different from each other, but it is easy to guess that an innocent comment on the topic of the past Balkan war may not always cause an adequate reaction.

Needless to say, with great caution should be taken to purchase souvenirs of political nature, such as, for example, popular in the Serbian part of T-shirts “Great Serbia is a reality”, or with portraits of Serbian leaders Karadzic and Mladic. The appearance of such souvenirs in the Muslim part will entail extremely serious consequences.

About the Author
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Nadja Kovačević
Nadja Kovačević
English editor of GuideBosnia
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