Bosnia’s political crisis: What you need to know, in 600 words

Bosnia is facing the worst political crisis since the international armed conflict in the country ended in 1995.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is facing a political crisis that, for some fear, could lead to armed conflict, just over 25 years after the end of the Bosnian war, with the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement.

Milorad Dodik, a Serbian member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, announced this month that the country’s Serb-run organization, Republika Srpska, is stepping down key state institutions to achieve full autonomy in the country, in violation of the 1995 peace agreements.

Dodik has threatened to separate the Republika Srpska from Bosnia over the past 15 years, and his latest statements raise concerns that an armed conflict could resume.

Here’s what you need to know:

How did the crisis start?
The crisis began in July when Valentin Inzko, then High Representative, banned the denial of genocide and established war crimes as well as glorifying war criminals.

Serbian MPs responded by boycotting central institutions.

What’s happening now?

Earlier this month, Dodik said the Republic of Serbia was withdrawing from three key state institutions: the armed forces, the Supreme Judiciary and the tax administration.

On October 12, Dodik declared that Bosnian justice, security and intelligence agencies would be banned in the Republic of Serbia.

Instead, “Serbian-only” institutions will replace these organizations in the organization by the end of November.

“We want our authorities to come back to us [to the regional parliament]… This is not something radical,” Dodik said. “This is to strengthen the position of the Republic of Serbia.”

The General Assembly of the Republic of Serbia on Wednesday passed a law establishing its own drug procurement agency, which operates separately from the state level among its first promulgated agencies.

Is the detachment on the cards?
Dodik insists that “this is not a rift” and “there is no chance of war” but on 14 October he told the media that seven EU countries were supporting the break-up of Bosnia, adding that “friends” had promised help to the unit in the “Western ”Cases. military intervention ‘.

“It’s a breakup in everything except the name. And he tests the waters, ”said political scientist Jasmin Mujanovic.

Why is this alarming?
When a reporter recently asked him how he plans to expel members of public services – judges, prosecutors, members of the armed forces – from the territory of the unit, Dodik referred to the year 1992 as the Slovenes did, referring to the use of force. The break-up of Yugoslavia.

Emir Suljagic, director of the Srebrenica Memorial Center, wrote on Sunday in the Anadolu Agency column that “institutions of the same nationality as Mr Dodik intends to resettle” are instruments of genocide in the 1990s.

“Police, military, intelligence and security services have been at the center of organized and systematic violence against non-Serbs. These institutions saw the existence of Bosnians as an existential threat, ”Suljagic wrote.

“If we fail to address these threats, the final price we will pay is another Srebrenica [genocide].”

What can be done?
Partners who accepted the obligation to protect peace 26 years ago and have the power to act must do so, Ismail Cidic, head of Bosnia’s advocacy center, told Al Jazeera.

Critics found the joint U.S.-EU statement on Wednesday calling “all parties” to respect state institutions vile.

“I understand that‘ both sides ’are always a safe option for any diplomat, but the consequences of such an approach have been well known since the 1990s,” Cidic said.

“If they are unwilling to react because of the Bosnian people, they must do so at least because of the leaders of their countries, who cannot afford another refugee crisis or a Russian-backed conflict right next to NATO’s borders.”

Bosnian pro-political leaders and state institutions “need to be prepared for dangerous scenarios,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *