March 1 is considered to be one of the most important dates in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s rich history. On this day in 1992, the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina decided to leave Yugoslavia and to live in a free and sovereign state.
A total of 99.7% of the voters decided to vote in favor of the referendum question titled “Are you in favor of a sovereign and independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, a state of equal citizens and nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina – Muslims, Serbs, Croats and others who live in it?”
While the Bosniaks and Croats strongly backed the referendum, the Bosnian Serbs elites instructed their people not to vote.
Despite their boycott, the referendum succeeded and Bosnia and Herzegovina soon became an independent state.
Some countries recognized Bosnia’s independence even before the referendum such as Bulgaria on January 31, 1992. Massive recognition started once Germany and the USA recognized Bosnia on April 6 and April 8, respectively. Bosnia became a member of the United Nations on May 22, 1992.
Today, the Independence Day is celebrated mostly in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while in the entity of Republika Srpska, the Independence Day is continued to be neglected.