Mostar: A Picturesque Town Crippled By Political Feuding
Published 6 February 2013
For months, ethnic Croat and Bosniak -- or Bosnian Muslim -- factions in the town of Mostar have been locked in a dispute over how to reform the town’s electoral procedures. The feud is representative of the persistent ethnic divides in Bosnia-Herzegovina and has left Mostar without an approved budget for 2013. As the cash runs out, basic services are threatened, including soup kitchens, kindergartens, firefighting, and school heating. (7 PHOTOS)
Mostar's old stone bridge over the Neretva River was destroyed in 1993 but rebuilt after the end of Bosnia's civil war in a move toward reconciliation.
A man stands in front of a souvenir shop in the historic center.
Elsewhere in Mostar, destruction from the 1992-95 war is still visible, as are the effects of postwar neglect.
People walk by an abandoned building. Mostar remains divided along ethnic lines, with Croat and Bosniak schoolchildren attending separate classes and studying from separate textbooks.
People receive food at one of Mostar's two soup kitchens -- one of the services threatened by the city's failure to approve the 2013 budget.
A woman waits for food in front of a soup kitchen. Some 600 residents depend on the public kitchens for their daily meals.
With neighboring Croatia set to join the European Union in July, Mostar's political crisis is a symbol of how far Bosnia's development has lagged behind.