Dear BiH, Happy Independence Day!

bih flagIndependence Day is a national holiday which is celebrated on the 1st of March every year, and it is celebrating the independence of BiH from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The referendum for the independence of BiH was held on the recommendation of the Arbitration Commission of the International Conference on Yugoslavia, in the final stages of dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. It was held on the 29th of February and the 1st of March, and it marked opting of citizens on the future of the country, but it was also introduction to a bloody war.

Adult citizens of the Socialist Republic of BiH voted on independence of BiH in the referendum in which the only question was: Are you for a sovereign and independent BiH, a state of equal citizens, peoples of BiH – Muslims, Serbs, Croats and members of other nations who live in it?

Independence was strongly supported by mainly Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats, while a large number of Bosnian Serbs boycotted the referendum due to urge of the SDS that Serbs do not vote in the referendum. A total of 2,073,568 voters participated in the referendum, which represented turnout of 63.6 %. Out of the total turnout, 99.7 % of voters voted for independence, and 0.3 % against that decision. The results of the referendum were accepted on the 6th of March that same year in the Parliament of BiH.

Unfortunately, even after twenty years, Independence Day is celebrated only in the Federation of BiH, while in Republika Srpska, March 1st is just a regular day.

To all readers of Sarajevo Times who perceive Bosnia and Herzegovina as their homeland, we wish a happy March 1st, the Independence Day of BiH.

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