Incredulous, Bosnia and Herzegovina fails to believe that it could be on the cusp of another war, as the ominous birds announce. The prospect seems crazy, a generation after a conflict that has claimed 100,000 lives and 2 million refugees. In the cafes of Sarajevo or Banja Luka, the political crisis which shakes the country would rather make people laugh, and no one believes that its leaders, admittedly generally qualified as incompetent and irresponsible, go so far as to provoke an armed conflict.
The current crisis arose from the announcement by Milorad Dodik, the Serb elected to the tripartite presidency of Bosnia, that the Serbian Republic – one of the two entities of the country along with the Bosnian-Croatian Federation – will leave the majority of institutions Bosnian communes. Mr. Dodik says he wants “Come back to Dayton”, the peace agreement of 1995 which provided only for an embryonic central State, and to annul all the decisions taken in twenty-six years of peace by the high international representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina and by the Bosnian Parliament.
A meeting of the Parliament of the Serbian Republic was to record, Friday, December 10, the first measures unilaterally decided by Banja Luka.
The crisis erupted in July after the decision of the High International Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina Valentin Inzko – taken four days before the end of his mandate – to ban by decree the glorification of war criminals and the denial of the Srebrenica genocide. The Serbian Republic does not recognize the existence of a genocide in Srebrenica or the siege of Sarajevo.
“The greatest existential threat of the post-war period”
Milorad Dodik then made multiple inflammatory statements. He is no longer content to demand the withdrawal of the memorial decree but the annulment of the 142 laws adopted since Dayton to strengthen the central state. Even if he assures to respect the provisions of the peace agreement, Mr. Dodik is preparing, if he carries out his threats, to lead the Serbian Republic towards independence. de facto.
Mr. Inzko’s successor, German diplomat Christian Schmidt, in his first report to the United Nations (UN) in October indicated that Bosnia was facing “The greatest existential threat of the post-war period”, with a risk “Very real” conflict.
Milorad Dodik brushes aside this prospect with the back of his hand. Receiving The world in Banja Luka, he claims to lead “A political fight”. The strong man of the Serbian Republic blows, as usual, hot and cold. On the one hand, he asserts “Not to have time to waste” to dialogue with the High Representative and threatens to “Recreate the army of the Serbian Republic”, and on the other, he affirms himself peaceful and proposes “Total demilitarization” from the country.
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Despite the political crisis, Bosnia does not want to believe in the return of war