Politics


Bosnia: Muslims dominate capital, claims Croatian MP




Sarajevo, 6 August (AKI) – The Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, once a symbol of ethnic diversity, has become an entirely Muslim city, a Croat deputy in the Bosnian Parliament, Branko Zrno, said on Wednesday.

“Sarajevo definitely isn’t a multi-ethnic city, but the city of one group, the Bosniacs (Muslims), " Zrno told local media.

He pointed out that Serbs and Croats in Sarajevo have no institutional protection, and continue to leave the capital.

Zrno echoed allegations from Bosnian Serb leaders, including Serb entity Prime Minister Milorad Dodik, that non-Muslims in Sarajevo suffered discrimination and were denied their rights.

Zrno said that the Croatian presence in the city had been halved and that neither Croats nor Serbs held any important posts in local government.  

Serbs claim that in the city of 400,000 only 7,000 Serbs have remained, compared to 160,000 before the 1992-1995 civil war.

The Serb claims have been supported by the Muslim President of the Bosnian Helsinki committee for human rights, Srdjan Dizdarevic, who said in a recent interview that Sarajevo had become a “monoethnic” city.

“Over 90 percent of Sarajevo inhabitants belong to only one group, the Bosniacs,” Dizdarevic told weekly Fokus.

“Ethnic cleansing in this city has, unfortunately, been successfully completed. If the will exists to reconstruct Bosnia on multiethnic principles, one should start with Sarajevo,” he concluded.

But as ethnic tensions deepened, the Muslim chairman of a three-man rotating state presidency, Haris Silajdzic, on Wednesday launched a fresh attack on the Serb entity.

Silajdzic repeated earlier claims that the Serb entity is a “symbol of genocide" allegedly perpetrated by its first president, Radovan Karadzic.

Karadzic is currently in detention and the Hague-based war crimes tribunal last week charged him with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“Karadzic has been arrested, but his project continues to live,” Silajdzic said. Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade two weeks ago and extradited to The Hague last week.

“The international community is obliged to remove consequences of the genocide,” Silajdzic added, referring to the Serb entity.

The statement prompted the top international representative in Bosnia, Slovak diplomat Miroslav Lajcak, to state that it is Karadzic who faces prosecution in The Hague, not the Serb entity.

“The Serb entity is not a creation of Karadzic's, but of the Dayton peace accord,” Lajcak said.

The Dayton accord, signed in November 1995, ended Bosnia's civil war and divided the country into two entities with most of the powers of a state: the Serb entity and a Muslim-Croat federation.

Bosnia's majority Muslim leaders have continued to call the Serb entity a “genocidal creature” that should be abolished - a move strongly opposed by Serbs. 


 

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