Interactive Map: Understanding the Dayton Accords

January 24, 2011

The nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina first emerged out of the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. The country’s territory was home to three main ethnic groups — Bosniak Muslims, Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs, all of whom had existed in relative peace under the Yugoslav umbrella. But after Croatia and Serbia agitated towards independence, war exploded across the territory, fueled by simmering ethnic tensions. Some of the worst atrocities in European history since World War II were committed, such as the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica and the formation of notorious rape camps, the masterminds of which are just now being prosecuted in international courts.

From 1992 to 1995, Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs each vied for control of the country and considered a total of four proposed peace plans, each of which was rejected by one faction or another. The Dayton Accords ended the war in 1995, with a boundary line drawn largely based on satellite data. Today Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs have largely migrated to different regions in the country along ethnic lines, weakening prospects of national unity.

Our interactive map attempts to explain this persistent tension by illustrating the shifting ethnic distributions within Bosnia and Herzegovina before, during and after the Dayton Accords.

You can also see a detailed regional map by clicking on the box labeled “Former Yugoslovia.”


  1. Jasmin Mujanovic says:

    A population breakdown would also be useful to accompany the above maps. Likewise, indicating which urban centers still have relatively large mixed populations would be useful: i.e. Sarajevo.

    All the same, the maps are a good indicator and representation of what David Campbell has called apartheid cartography.

  2. Mirsada Buric says:

    Your map explanation is misleading. The fall of the Soviet Union had no bearing on the war in the Balkans. The former Yugoslavia never was a part of the Soviet Union or under the influence of the Soviet Union as it was the case with other eastern European countries such as Romania, Hungry and Czechoslovakia. Our history is convoluted as it is and bringing another confusing element will perpetuate misconceptions about our homeland. It is true, however, that Russia supported the Serbs in their quest to ethnically cleanse Bosnia and Herzegovina from non-Serbs. The Dayton Peace Accord basically rewarded the Serbs by giving them 49 percent of the land they ethnically cleansed during the war.

  3. James J. Braddock says:


    Did Angelina Jolie use (steal) this book (The Soul Shattering in English) written by the Bosnian-Croatian author James J. Braddock a.k.a Josip J. Knežević, as the story platform for her movie In The Land of Blood and Honey?

    Did she totally miss the truth and core of that genocidal war against Bosnia and her people?

    Why was she banned from filming in Bosnia by the most influental organization of women – victims of the war?

    Did she rewrite history and offended thousands of women and other innocent victims of the Serbian aggression on Bosnia & Herzegovina?

    Should American women and human rights organizations get involved?

  4. You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the paintings you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

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