Bosnia: Serb leader threatens dissolution of country

Sarajevo, 27 August (AKI) – Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik has warned that Bosnia-Herzegovina could be dissolved if Muslim leaders do not stop attacking Serb entity Republika Srpska (RS) and demanding its abolition. 

“RS must be respected and we will respect others as much as they respect us,” Dodik said on Monday.

The controversial RS prime minister said he wasn’t afraid of threats by the high representative of the international community in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak, to sanction him for his statements which allegedly undermine the country’s constitutional system and the Dayton peace accord.

"Bosnia-Herzegovina is a Dayton construction, based on an agreement which I respect, but whether it will last, or how long, doesn’t depend on me but on many others,” he said. “I don’t want to go to Sarajevo in a manner which would be humiliating for RS.

"If someone wants to talk to us, it must be based on partnership relations,” he added.

Under the Dayton peace accord, Bosnia was divided into two entities, RS and a Muslim Croat federation, but the international community which safeguards peace in Bosnia has stripped entities of most state powers for the sake of strengthening the central government.

A reform of security forces, which would eliminate RS police, remains the last precondition for Bosnia’s drive towards joining the European Union, but Dodik has said he would under no conditions consent to the abolition of the police.

The Muslim member of Bosnian three-man rotating state presidency, Haris Silajdzic, has stepped up a drive for abolition of RS since the International Court of Justice ruled last February that Bosnian Serb forces killed 8,000 Muslims in a genocide in the eastern town of Srebrenica in1995.

On the other hand, the Serbs, as the second biggest ethnic group in the country, have threatened to hold a referendum on independence and secede if the attacks on RS don’t cease.

Dodik has said a referendum on independence for RS was a fair solution and that 99 per cent of Bosnian Serbs support secession from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Dodik said a part of the international community supported majority Muslim demands for abolition of entities and the creation of a “unitary” state, but said it can’t be done at the expense of RS.

“If they want, they can make such concessions in their own countries, but not in Bosnia-Herzegovina and at the expense of RS,” he said.

As the international community pushed for constitutional reforms, Muslim leaders have prepared a plan which would eliminate entities and divide the country into five inter-ethnic economic regions.

But the Serbs and minority Croats have rejected the idea, saying it would lead to majority Muslim domination.



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