Before fighting broke out in 1991, Yugoslovia was a unified nation of republics.
After nearly four years of fighting, a peace plan preserves Bosnia as a single state but still divided into two separate republics -- the Bosnian-Croat Federation and the Bosnian Serb Republic.
NATO has since divided Bosnia into three main sectors, each dominated by one of the major allies. There's also an area of northwestern Bosnia controlled by NATO's Rapid Reaction Force.
The British sector, headquartered in Gornji Vakuf, is in northwestern Bosnia. Troops from Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands will also patrol here.
The French sector covers the southern part of the country. NATO contingents from Spain and Italy also will be part of this sector. The headquarters for this sector will be the capital, Sarajevo.
Under the Dayton agreement, Sarajevo's Serb and Muslim neighborhoods are to be reunified under Bosnian government control. Bosnian Serbs, who object to being governed by their war enemies, would prefer Sarajevo remain a divided city.
Troops from the United States and Russia are responsible for the U.S. sector in northeastern Bosnia. This area includes the disputed Posavina corridor, a narrow strip of land that Serbs now control. They want to hold on to it to link their territory to the east and west.
But the Bosnian government also needs the Posavina corridor for vital access to the Sava River. The issue was unresolved in the Dayton agreement and is due to be resolved by arbitration within one year. Headquarters for the U.S. sector is Tuzla.
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