bne IntelliNews – High Representative warns Bosnian Serb leadership seeking to divide the country


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The High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, warned in his report to the UN Security Council that Serbian ethnic leaders are making a concerted effort to divide the country, or failing that, to undo many of the reforms carried out over the years. 25 years, and he called for “a decisive position” to stop any division

Inzko told the UN Security Council that the challenge to Bosnia’s once multi-ethnic society comprising Serbs, Muslims and Croats was led by senior Bosnian Serb politician Milorad Dodik, who is the Serbian member of the country’s three-member presidency, according to a transcription of his comments.

He said the Bosnian Serb campaign “could have political and security implications not only for the country, but also for the region and the rest of Europe”.

While chairman of the Bosnian Serb entity Republika Srpska, Dodik sought to launch a referendum on secession from the entity and repeatedly challenged state-level authorities.

In what he said was probably his last Council briefing after 12 years as a senior representative of the international community in Bosnia, Inzko sharply criticized what he called “the long-term destructive policy” of the authorities in Bosnia. the Bosnian Serb entity, the Republika Srpska.

In his report, Inzko described a country that is not working. Inzko said the government and the national parliament function poorly, pass new laws and implement reforms.

Inzko described as particularly worrying the pressure exerted by the Bosnian Serb authorities on the EU military mission (EUFOR) to end its mandate in Bosnia as soon as possible, which he said could again threaten peace and stability in the country.

After 12 years as a High Representative, Inzko said: “Today I would have hoped to be able to declare the job done. Sadly, and much to my regret, Bosnia remains a de facto frozen conflict with unfinished peace, where political leaders continue to pursue war goals, generate divisive narratives and nationalist political agendas, and talk about dissolving the state. The multiethnic and diverse society that existed before the conflict has all but disappeared, as it becomes increasingly difficult to defend the preservation of multiethnic spaces and to resist the creation of monoethnic spaces. Hate speech, the glorification of war criminals, revisionism or the outright denial of genocide, despite the verdicts of international judicial bodies, remain very frequent in political discourse.

The high representative warned that “we are far from a situation which would allow changes to the post-Dayton arrangement in Bosnia and Herzegovina“.

“Until there is a real and demonstrated commitment to peace and stability, and the lasting stability and inviolability of Bosnia is irreversibly secured, the international community must retain all instruments to its readiness to deal with any potential threat, including the executive powers of the High Representative – which I have not used for almost ten years – the retention of international judges in the Bosnian Constitutional Court, the international mechanisms in the district de Brcko and the international military presence in Bosnia, ”he said.

Commenting on the debates on changes to the country’s electoral law, Inzko said they should focus on implementing the recommendations of the OSCE, the Group of States Against Corruption (Greco) and the Commission of Venice of the Council of Europe.

“Their aim is to ensure the integrity of the electoral process and the implementation of decisions of the European Court of Human Rights aimed at eliminating discrimination against voters on the basis of their ethnicity and location. of residence, ”said Inzko.

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