The external body monitoring Bosnia's 2013 census has advised the authorities to postpone the headcount planned for April on the grounds that the country is insufficiently prepared.
Andy McGuffie, of the EU delegation to Bosnia, told Balkan Insight on Wednesday that the International Monitoring Operation, IMO, which oversaw this year's test census, does not believe Bosnia and Herzegovina is ready.
“To ensure proper preparation of the census and avoid unreliable results and figures the IMO recommends postponement of the census for at least six months,” McGuffie said.
He added that the IMO had other recommendations, which include improving coordination between all statistical agencies in the country.
Bosnia held a test census in October this year and planned the landmark nationwide count for next spring - but it will have to reconsider the date now that the external overseers have recommended a delay.
The last census was in 1991, just before the outbreak of the 1992-5 war, and the upcoming census is seen as historic as it will reveal the postwar demographic changes that have taken place as a result of the conflict.
The 1991 census recorded a population of 4.4 million people. Bosniaks [Muslims] made up 43.5 per cent, Serbs 31.2 per cent and Croats 17.4 per cent. Another 5.5 declared themselves as Yugoslavs.
The United Nations estimates that Bosnia and Herzegovina today is home to only 3.8 million people.
Elvira M. Jukic