ISSN 2330-717X

Serb Leader Advocates Croat Unit In Bosnia

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By Elvira M. Jukic

The leader of the Serb-dominated entity in Bosnia marked the 17th anniversary of the Dayton Accords by urging Bosnia’s transformation into confederation of three units, including a new entity for Croats.

Milorad Dodik, president of Republika Srpska, the mainly Serbian entity in Bosnia, said the Dayton Accords of November 21, 1995 marked the moment when a ‘”bloody civil war ended” and when “the Republika Srpska was confirmed as an international subject”.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina

In a statement published on Wednesday, Dodik advocated respect for the Dayton Accords and the Bosnian constitution, blaming most of Bosnia’s current instability on the Office of the High Representative, OHR.

Dodik recalled Bosnia as a country of three constituent peoples, which was formed in Dayton and had not existed before.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina is a state union made in Dayton and prior to that, there did not exist any country of Bosnia within its current borders,” Dodik’s text read.

He maintained that the Republika Srpska had obained international recognition as a subject, since it signed the annexes to the peace agreement.

He described the pre-war centralized system Bosnia, when it was part of Yugoslavia, as unbearable, adding that radical decentralization had been needed even then.

The solution for Bosnia’s future existence, he continued, was to solve the Croatian question through the creation of a third territorial unit within Bosnia, presumably out of the other entity, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Only after constitutional changes in the Federation [entity], it is possible to change the state-level constitution, which will state the existence of three territorial units, making Bosnia a confederation,” Dodik added.

“If the three-ethnic territorial structure does not happen as a realistic solution, the agony of dissolution will continue,” Dodik said, “which will lead to a day when one can say Bosnia and Herzegovina no longer exists.”

The Dayton Peace Accords of November 21, 1995, ended the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and were agreed by Alija Izetbegovic, Slobodan Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman, presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia [Serbia] and Croatia respectively.

The peace agreement was officially signed in Paris in December same year.



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Balkan Insight

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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