Republika Srpska (/rɛpˈuːblikə sɜːrpskə/; Serbian Cyrillic: Република Српскa, pronounced [repǔblika sr̩pska] (listen)) is one of the two political entities that compose Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Situated in the northern and eastern parts of the country, it is defined by its rich natural heritage, encompassing dense forests, mountains, and rivers. Its largest city and de facto capital, on the river Vrbas, is Banja Luka. The territory that now makes up Republika Srpska, subject to Illyrian and Celtic settlement, was invaded by the Slavs in the 6th and 7th centuries and, in the medieval era, it was variously ruled by the Byzantine Empire, medieval Serbian states, the Frankish Empire, the Kingdom of Croatia, the Kingdom of Bosnia, the medieval Kingdom of Hungary and, by the end of the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire. After centuries of Ottoman-Habsburg conflict, the area became a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918 following World War I. Following World War II, it became part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as part of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The creation of the modern entity of Republika Srpska dates to 1991 when six Serb Autonomous Regions united during the Yugoslav Wars. It achieved international recognition following the Dayton Accords and the end of the Bosnian War in 1995. Today, Republika Srpska maintains a parliamentary-style government, with the National Assembly holding legislative power within the entity. Republika Srpska is relatively centralised, although it is split into 2nd-level administrative units—municipalities, or opštine—of which there are 64. The legislature holds 83 seats, and the current session is the ninth since the formation of Republika Srpska.
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