Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation: Key to Peace in Bosnia?

The Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina was established in March 1994, with U.S. mediation. It aims to unite areas held by the largely Bosniak (Muslim) pre-war republic government with areas held by Croats. The Bosnian peace agreement, signed in Dayton in November 1995, recognized the Federation and the Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska as two largely autonomous entities within a weak, but sovereign Bosnia and Hercegovina union. Real political, economic and military integration of Bosniak and Croat-held areas has been slow to materialize. The United States has played a key role in setting up the Federation and in efforts to make it viable. The long term viability of the Federation is open to question, however, due to continued mistrust between the two sides and significant differences in their perceived interests.