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news 27 Jun 13

Bosnia Ministers Agree Sarajevo is Safe

Bosnia's Council of Ministers held a session in Sarajevo at which ministers agreed that recent street protests do not endanger the security of politicians.

Elvira M. Jukic

Bosnia's state-level government held a working session on June 26 and agreed that the security agencies had met all the conditions needed for their work.

The Council of Ministers had not met since June 5, when thousands of people began protesting outside parliament over MPs' failure to adopt a law on personal numbers.

As a result of this failure, newborns could not obtain vital personal documents, such as passports.

After a night in which MPs and staff were barricaded inside the parliament building, Serbian and Croatian officials said they would not come back to Sarajevo while the protests continued.

As a result, Bosnia's state-level government and parliament have not worked for three weeks.

The Prime Minister, Vjekoslav Bevanda, and members of his party, the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, were among those who previously said they did not feel safe working in the capital.

However, he later changed his mind and scheduled a session of the cabinet on Wednesday tasked with addressing several important issues, most related to Croatia's imminent EU accession on July 1.

Bevanda said on Wednesday that ministers had also concluded that security conditions were satisfactory and that they could work normally in government institutions.

He also said that the Council of Ministers was still working on the adoption of a new law on personal numbers, the issue that sparked the street protests.

The protests started on June 5 following media reports that a baby named Belmina Ibrisevic could not leave Bosnia for life-saving treatment in Germany because she did not have her travel documents.

The Council of Ministers then adopted a temporary measure to allow the issue of the personal numbers, but the protesters refused to quit.

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