The Brcko District supervision will be suspended, decided the international community council charged with overseeing 1995 peace accord at their May session.
The Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council, PIC, an international body charged with overseeing the peace implementation, decided to suspend the Brcko District supervision by closing its office there by August 31 and transferring the obligation of assuring stability to the local government.
“I will suspend my mandate as supervisor and the responsibility for Brcko will rest more firmly than ever in the hands of the local authorities and citizens of Brcko,” said Roderick Moore, deputy high representative and Brcko supervisor, at a press conference on May 23 after a two-day PIC meeting.
He added that the post of supervisor will continue to exist as an authoritative, legal entity, as would the Tribunal for Brcko, adding that the supervisor would continue to be responsible for notifying the tribunal when the conditions for its closure had been met.
“Until then, the Tribunal...may still modify the final award as necessary in the event of serious non-compliance by one or the other entity by means of placing the District under the exclusive jurisdiction of one entity,” Moore said.
“Today’s decision is a recognition of the huge progress that the people of Brcko have made in rebuilding their local community,” he emphasized.
Brcko is the north-east Bosnian town on the Sava river, which due to its crucial geopolitical position was made a district under international community supervision and which remained an unresolved issue at the 1995 Dayton peace talks.
The town connects the eastern and western parts of Republika Srpska, the Bosnian Serb-dominated entity, but is also claimed by the Bosniak-Croat Federation because of its access to the Sava and the country’s northern border.
The High Representative to Bosnia, Valentin Inzko, told the press conference that the PIC has welcomed recent positive developments in the country, such as the formation of a new government, the adoption of two important laws and the March 9 agreement on state and defense property.
The meeting of six leaders on May 16 and 23 ended without agreement on some issues, Inzko recalled, but he expressed hope that some progress would be achieved this month.
“So while the March 9 agreement is greatly encouraging, there is disappointment in the PIC at how slowly it is being implemented given that it is a 100 per cent domestic agreement without other complicating factors,” Inzko said.
Among their other comments and conclusions, the PIC cautioned political parties against provocative acts, and encouraged them to support reconciliation prior to the upcoming local elections in October.