Serbia

 

The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was formed in 1918; its name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. Various paramilitary bands resisted Nazi Germany’s occupation and division of Yugoslavia from 1941 to 1945, but fought each other and ethnic opponents as much as the invaders. The military and political movement headed by Josip TITO (Partisans) took full control of Yugoslavia when German and Croatian separatist forces were defeated in 1945.

 

Although Communist, TITO’s new government and his successors (he died in 1980) managed to steer their own path between the Warsaw Pact nations and the West for the next four and a half decades. In 1989, Slobodan MILOSEVIC became president of the Serbian Republic and his ultranationalist calls for Serbian domination led to the violent breakup of Yugoslavia along ethnic lines. In 1991, Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia declared independence, followed by Bosnia in 1992.

 

Geography:
Location: South-eastern Europe, between Macedonia and Hungary
Geographic coordinates: 44 00 N, 21 00 E
People:
Population:  7,276,604 (July 2012 est.)

note: does not include the population of Kosovo

Median age: Total: 41.5 years

male: 39.8 years

female: 43.2 years (2012 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Serbia

conventional short form: Serbia

local long form: Republika Srbija

local short form: Srbija

former: People’s Republic of Serbia, Socialist Republic of Serbia

Government type: republic
Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use:  3.11 million (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 9.915 million (2009)
Transportation:
Airports: 30 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 11

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Serbian Armed Forces (Vojska Srbije, VS): Land Forces Command (includes Serbian naval force, consisting of a river flotilla on the Danube), Joint Operations Command, Air and Air Defence Forces Command (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished effective December 2010; service obligation – 6 months, with reserve obligation to age 60 for men and age 50 for women (2010)

Economy:

MILOSEVIC-era mismanagement of the economy, an extended period of economic sanctions, and the damage to Yugoslavia’s infrastructure and industry during the NATO airstrikes in 1999 left the economy only half the size it was in 1990. After the ousting of former Federal Yugoslav President MILOSEVIC in September 2000, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition government implemented stabilization measures and embarked on a market reform program.

 

After renewing its membership in the IMF in December 2000, a down-sized Yugoslavia continued to reintegrate into the international community by rejoining the World Bank (IBRD) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). A World Bank-European Commission sponsored Donors’ Conference held in June 2001 raised $1.3 billion for economic restructuring.

Transnational Issues:

Serbia with several other states protest the U.S. and other states’ recognition of Kosovo’s declaring itself as a sovereign and independent state in February 2008; ethnic Serbian municipalities along Kosovo’s northern border challenge final status of Kosovo-Serbia boundary; several thousand NATO-led KFOR peacekeepers under UNMIK authority continue to keep the peace within Kosovo between the ethnic Albanian majority and the Serb minority in Kosovo; Serbia delimited about half of the boundary with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but sections along the Drina River remain in dispute.