Photo “Deutsche Welle”
25 years of peace are at stake: the Republika Srpska parliament votes to secede from the central government in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This should happen within six months, he wrote Deutsche Welle.
Over a quarter of a century after the bloody ethnic war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, fears of new conflicts have been growing. The Republika Srpska parliament in Banja Luka has approved the withdrawal of the central government from the army, justice and tax system.
Deputies gave the government six months to implement the decision. Almost all members of the opposition did not take part in the protest vote, but the Union of Independent Social Democrats (SNS) party’s proposal nevertheless received a sufficient majority of 49 votes.
Good luck to Serbian leader Dodik
The vote was a success, especially for the head of the Union of Independent Social Democrats, Milorad Dodik, a Serb representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s collective presidency.
The Bosnian Serb leader has repeatedly threatened to tear his part of the common state apart. And now he obviously intends to actually do that. “It is time for Republika Srpska to regain its freedom,” he said.
Dodik announced that within six months he will come up with legislative initiatives that will regulate relations with the central government in a new way. But this time he did not explicitly say he wants Republika Srpska to have its own army.
The head of the SNA believes that the central government has unjustifiably seized powers from Republika Srpska. Dodik, who enjoys Russia’s support for his plans, blames Western countries for turning Bosnia to the detriment of Serbia and to the benefit of Bosnian Muslims.
The federation has existed since 1995
Dodik’s intentions jeopardize the foundations of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords. It ended more than three years of war between Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks. The agreement fixes two largely autonomous parts of the country: the Republika Srpska and the Bosnian Croat federation.
As a guarantee for the normal functioning of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a number of state institutions have been established. It was headed by a three-member presidency, each with one representative each of Croats, Muslims and Serbs.
The US government is concerned
As early as early November, the international community’s High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, warned in a UN report that Dodik’s intentions “look like a secession without being explicitly announced”.
Dodik’s statements in September that he wanted to create his own army caused alarm in the United States. In recent weeks, the US government has sent a number of diplomats to Bosnia to underscore Washington’s support for the country’s unity.