Location of Foča within Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Country||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|• Mayor||Radislav Mašić (SDS)|
|• Municipality||1,134.58 km2 (438.06 sq mi)|
|• Municipality density||16/km2 (42/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Foča (Serbian Cyrillic: Фоча, pronounced [fôtʃa]) is a town and a municipality located in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated on the banks of Drina river. As of 2013, the town has a population of 12,234 inhabitants, while the municipality has 18,288 inhabitants.
The town was known as Hotča during medieval times. It was then known as a trading centre on route between Ragusa (now Dubrovnik) and Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey). Alongside the rest of Gornje Podrinje, Foča was part of the Serbian Empire until 1376, when it was attached to the Kingdom of Bosnia under King Tvrtko. After Tvrtko's death, the town was ruled by the dukes of Hum, most notably was Herzog Stjepan. Foča was the seat of the Ottoman Sanjak of Herzegovina established in 1470, and served as such until 1572, when the seat was moved to Pljevlja.
World War II
In 1941, the Ustaše killed the leading Serbs in Foča. Between December 1941 and January 1942 over two thousand Bosnian Muslims were killed in Foča by the Chetniks as act of vengeance for repression over Serbs by Muslims in ranks of Ustaše. Additionally Chetniks attacked Ustaše and in Foča in August 1942.
On 13 February 1943, Pavle Đurišić reported to Draža Mihailović the actions undertaken by the Chetniks in the Foča, Pljevlja, and Čajniče districts: "All Muslim villages in the three mentioned districts were totally burned so that not a single home remained in one piece. All property was destroyed except cattle, corn, and senna."
In the operation Chetnik losses "were 22 dead, of which 2 through accidents, and 32 wounded. Among the Muslims, around 1,200 fighters and up to couple of thousands of civilian victims of both nationalitys." Đurišić said what remained of the Muslim population fled and that actions were taken to prevent their return. The municipality is also the site of the legendary Battle of Sutjeska between the Tito's Yugoslav Partisans and the German army. A monument to the Partisans killed in the battle was erected in the village of Tjentište.
Bosnian War and after
In 1992, the city came under the control of Army of Republika Srpska. Most of the Bosniaks fleed from the area.  Thirteen mosques including the Aladža Mosque were destroyed and the 22,500 Muslims who made up the majority of inhabitants fled. Only about 10 Muslims remained at the end of the conflict. The Tribunal Judges determined beyond a reasonable doubt that the purpose of the Serb campaign in Foča was, among others, "to cleanse the Foča area of Muslims" and concluded that "to that end the campaign was successful.
In 1995 the Dayton Agreement created a territorial corridor linking the once-besieged Bosnian city of Goražde to the Muslim-Croat Federation; as a consequence, the northern part of Foča was separated to create the city of Foča-Ustikolina. The city was renamed Srbinje (Serbian Cyrillic: Србиње), "place of the Serbs" (from Srbi Serbs and -nje which is a Slavic locative suffix). In 2004, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared the name change unconstitutional, and reverted it to Foča, until the National Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina passes an appropriate law.
In October 2004 members of the Association of Women Victims of War (Udruzenje Žene-Žrtve Rata) attempted to lay a plaque in front of the Partizan sports hall to commemorate the terrible crimes that occurred there. Since the war around 4,000 Muslims have returned to their homes and several mosques have been re-built. This has taken place largely due to the administration of Zdravko Krsmanović, who was mayor from 2004 to 2012. In the 2012 elections, however, Krsmanović was defeated and a new mayor, Radisav Mašić, was elected with support of parties SDS and SNSD.
Aside from the town of Foča, the municipality includes the following settlements:
- Brajkovići, Foča
- Cerova Ravan
- Čelikovo Polje
- Donje Žešće
- Kozja Luka
- Krna Jela
- Popov Most
- Zebina Šuma
According to the 2013 census results, the municipality of Foča has 18,288 inhabitants.
The ethnic composition of the municipality:
The following table gives a preview of total number of registred employed people per their core activity (as of 2016):
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing||272|
|Mining and quarrying||25|
|Distribution of power, gas, steam and air-conditioning||68|
|Distribution of water and water waste management||77|
|Wholesale and retail, repair||362|
|Transportation and storage||162|
|Hotels and restaurants||155|
|Information and communication||51|
|Finance and insurance||38|
|Real estate activities||-|
|Professional, scientific and technical activities||48|
|Administrative and support services||8|
|Public administration and defence||633|
|Healthcare and social work||565|
|Art, entertainment and recreation||130|
|Other service activities||41|
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It is also home to one of seven seminaries in the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Seminary of Saint Peter of Sarajevo and Dabar-Bosna. Foča was also, until 1992, the home of one of Bosnia's most important Islamic high schools, the Madrassa of Mehmed-paša.
Twin towns - sister cities
Foča is twinned with:
- Zehra Deović, folk singer
- Veselin Đuho, Croatian water polo player and coach, two-time Olympic champion
- Aida Hadzialic, Swedish politician
- Jelica Komnenović, basketball player, Olympic bronze medalist
- Milan Lukić, convicted Serbian war criminal
- Rade Krunić, Bosnian Serb professional footballer (Italian club Empoli, Bosnia and Herzegovina national team)
- Stenton, Michael (2000). Radio London and Resistance in Occupied Europe: British Political Warfare 1939-1943. Oxford University Press. p. 327. ISBN 0-19-820843-X.
- Tomasevich, Jozo (1975). War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945: The. Stanford University Press. p. 258. ISBN 0-8047-0857-6.
- Hoare, Marko Attila (2006). Genocide and Resistance in Hitler's Bosnia: The Partisans and the Chetniks. Oxford University Press. pp. 331–32. ISBN 0-19-726380-1.
- "Bosnian Serbs reject rape plaque". BBC News. 1 October 2004.
- "Rape as a Crime Against Humanity". Archived from the original on January 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
- Charter, David (28 May 2009). "World Agenda: US hopes for Bosnia rest on town mayor's shoulders". London, UK: The Times.
- "Facts about Foča" (PDF). International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
- "Popis 2013 u BiH – Foča". statistika.ba (in Bosnian). Retrieved 29 December 2018.
- "Cities and Municipalities of Republika Srpska 2017" (PDF). rzs.rs.ba (in Serbian). December 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
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