International administration, backed at first by Nato forces and later by a smaller European Union-led peacekeeping force, has helped the country consolidate stability.
Dayton also established the Office of the High Representative (OHR).
The Office's representative is the state's ultimate authority, responsible for implementation of Dayton and with the power to ''compel the entity governments to comply with the terms of the peace agreement and the state constitution''.
Critics of Dayton said the entities it created were too close to being states in their own right and that the arrangement reinforced separatism and nationalism at the expense of integration.
Negotiations to amend the existing constitution, established by Dayton, in order to strengthen state institutions and transform the country into a non-ethnic parliamentary democracy, have so far failed to make much progress.
It is now an independent state, but under international administration.
Its three main ethnic groups are Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), Croats and Serbs.The war left Bosnia's infrastructure and economy in tatters.Around two million people - about half the population - were displaced.EU talks In a bid to encourage Bosnia to resolve its ethnic divisions and eventually qualify for EU membership, EU foreign ministers gave the go-ahead in late 2005 for talks on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the country.The prospect of talks with the EU is thought to have increased pressure for the capture of two key Bosnian Serb war crimes suspects, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.After nearly 13 years on the run, Radovan Karadzic was arrested in July 2008 by Serbian security forces in Belgrade.