The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, colloquially known as Bosnia and Herzegovina (Serbo-Croatian: Босне и Херцеговине, Bosne i Hercegovine) or simply Bosnia (Босна, Bosna), is a sovereign state located in the Balkans region of Southern Europe. The nation has a varying history, acting as a buffer state (of sorts) between Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Following World War I, the region became part of Yugoslavia, which it remained until 1992 when Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence. Efforts to keep the nation peaceful and unified turned into an international mission during the 1990s, though internal fighting between the three main peoples (Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs) did take place during this period. Fighting on the scale in Croatia and Yugoslavia remained limited within Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the nation gradually devolved into a federation of 10 cantons (with Switzerland acting as a model). In many ways, the nation once again turned into a buffer state for the region.
Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs make up the three main ethnic groups within the nation. Catholicism (Croats), Eastern Orthodoxy (Serbs), and Sunni Islam (Bosniaks) are the three main religious beliefs within the nation. The Serbo-Croatian language is the only official language of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is divided into three regional dialects within the nation. Though some tensions still exist, the nation has been internally peaceful since the late 1990s.
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