|Official languages||Serbian, Croatian, Bosniak|
|Capital||de jure Sarajevo, de facto Banja Luka|
- % water
- Total (2001)
|Anthem||Bože Pravde (God the Righteous)|
|Time zone||UTC +1|
|Currency||Convertible Mark (KM)|
The Republika Srpska (RS) is one of the two entities that compose the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the other entity is the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina). In English it is sometimes called the Serb Republic or Republic of Srpska, although the latter is an incorrect translation ("Srpska" is an adjective, not a noun). Because of the potential for confusion between the "Serb Republic" (Republika Srpska) and the "Republic of Serbia" (Republika Srbija), the name "Republika Srpska" is often used in its untranslated form in non-Slavic countries to avoid any confusion with Serbia. This article follows that convention.
The RS has its own government, coat of arms, anthem, president, parliament (the Народна Скупштина Републике Српске/Narodna Skupština Republike Srpske), customs department, police force, postal system, and airline (Air Srpska). It has its own army, the Vojska Republike Srpske, though it is under the control of the state-level Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry of Defense, as is the Vojska Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine.
For a while it even had its own currency (1992-94), the Republika Srpska dinar. It uses the Serbian flag. Although Sarajevo is formally the capital of the RS, according to its constitution, in practice the northwestern city of Banja Luka is the centre of the republic's government.
During the political crisis that followed the secession of Slovenia and Croatia from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on July 25, 1991, a separate Bosnian Serb Assembly was founded on October 24, 1991, as the representative body of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On November 21, 1991, the Bosnian Serb Assembly proclaimed as part of the territory of the federal Yugoslav state all those municipalities, local communities, and populated places in which over 50% of the people of Serbian nationality had voted, during a plebiscite held on November 9 and 10, 1991, to remain in that state, as well as those places where citizens of other nationalities had expressed themselves in favour of remaining in a joint Yugoslav state.
On January 9, 1992, the Bosnian Serb Assembly adopted a declaration on the Proclamation of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Republika Srpska Bosne i Hercegovine). On February 28, 1992, the constitution of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared that the territory of that Republic included the territories of the Serbian autonomous regions and districts and of other Serbian ethnic entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (including regions described as "places in which the Serbian people remained in the minority due to the genocide conducted against it in World War II"), and it was declared to be a part of the federal Yugoslav state. The new government issued postage stamps and currency -- prized abroad by collectors.
From February 29 to March 2, 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina held a referendum on independence. The majority of Bosnian Serbs boycotted the vote on the grounds that it was unconstitutional because the referendum bypassed the veto of the Serb representatives. On April 6, 1992, the European Community formally recognised the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence on April 7, 1992. On August 12, 1992, the reference to Bosnia and Herzegovina was dropped from the name, and it became simply Republika Srpska.
The Bosnian Serb Army, supported by the Yugoslav People's Army, maintained and expanded the borders of Republika Srpska during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia. Various allegations have been made with regard to the nature of the Serb Republic with respect to the amount of ethnic cleansing and other war crimes over non-Serbs that have happened on its territory. So far, the authorities of Republika Srpska have only admitted to two massacres: the Vlasic massacre of 90 Bosniak civilians in 1992 and the 1995 massacre of 5-8,000 Bosniaks at Srebrenica. Its founding President and war-time military leader are sought by the Hague Tribunal but some of those responsible for the concentration camps at Omarska , Trnopolje and Manjaca remain in positions of local authority. To some the name and insignia of Republika Srpska are inherently intolerant towards other Bosnians and evoke very negative connotations of war-time problems for them.
The legal existence and independence of Republika Srpska was postulated by the Agreed Basic Principles issued on September 8, 1995, and the Further Agreed Basic Principles issued on September 26, 1995, and was confirmed by the Dayton Peace Agreement, although Republika Srpska has never received international recognition as a state. (Under an agreement on August 29, 1995, a unified delegation composed of three delegates of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and three delegates of Republika Srpska — led by Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević — was authorized to negotiate and sign the Dayton Peace Agreement on behalf of the Republika Srpska.)
Republika Srpska was not created by the Dayton Peace Agreement; indeed, Republika Srpska was a party to several of the annexes to the General Framework Agreement. Republika Srpska has maintained its territorial and legal continuity since it was proclaimed on January 9, 1992, and the constitution adopted in 1992 (as amended) remains in force to this day. A revision or withdrawal of the Dayton Agreement would not cause a discontinuation of Republika Srpska (nor a number of other changes in the political makeup of Bosnia and Herzegovina possibly required to make the government more straighforward), only a democratic consensus.
- Regions of Republika Srpska
- History of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Political divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina
On the Internet
Republika Srpska does not have its own Internet domain name (nor does the Federation), but its institutions do not prefer the Bosnia-Herzegovina TLD (.BA) or indeed any other single TLD. Third parties offer the subdomain .RS under either one of the top level domains .BA (Bosnia & Herzegovina)  or .SR (Suriname, but resembling Serbia, which actually uses .YU) .