On 1 July 1997 Konjic became the first municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) to be officially recognised as an Open City by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Croat-controlled Jajce and Bosniac-controlled Travnik are both municipalities to which displaced persons who do not belong to the majority ethnic group have been returning in substantial numbers.
When on 15 May 1998 Slobodan Milosevic met with Ibrahim Rugova it was the first time that the Yugoslav president had met with an Albanian leader from Kosovo in close to a decade.
Kosovo, an impoverished region at the southern tip of Serbia, is drawing ineluctably closer to war with each passing day.
International organisations working to help displaced Bosnians return to their pre-war homes – arguably the most important element of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) – have declared 1998 the “year of minority returns”.
Since 28 February when Serbian special police launched a brutal offensive against alleged ethnic Albanian (Kosovar) separatists in Kosovo, events in that ethnically-divided province of rump Yugoslavia have featured prominently on the front pages of newspapers and in television and radio news broadcasts throughout the world.
The fate of the Brcko area, whether it should be in the Federation or Republika Srpska, was considered too contentious to be resolved in the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) and was left to binding arbitration.
To many who followed the Bosnian war from abroad, Sarajevo symbolised Bosnia and Herzegovina’s rich tradition of multi-culturalism and multi-ethnicity.
In Bosnia’s local elections on 13 and 14 September 1997, parties representing displaced Serbs from Croat-held Drvar, Bosansko Grahovo and Glamoc won either a majority or a plurality of council seats in these three municipalities in Canton 10 of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Achieving the ambitious goals of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (DPA) -- forging a unified state out of the shaky Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and resistant and unstable Republika Srpska -- is a complex and difficult undertaking which has not been made easier by the quest for a so-called “exit strategy”.