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News 16 May 12

Bosnian Serbs Condemn International 'Pressure'

Ahead of high representative's report to UN on Bosnia, Serb entity report upholds importance of 1995 Dayton Accords.

Elvira Jukic

In a report to the UN Security Council, the Republika Srpska, the mainly Serb entity, says several successes have been achieved in Bosnia since December without input from the international community.

Bosnia's leaders have worked successfully together to advance Euro-Atlantic integration, the report says, noting the formation of a state government, the disposition of state and military property, adoption of a state budget and the adoption of several key laws.

“It has not been international impositions or pressure that made these agreements possible,” the report said, “It has been their absence.”

The report also said that the country is best governed under the decentralized system established by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, restating the importance of respecting the agreement.

“Academic research shows that decentralization improves efficiency, especially in countries such as BiH,” the report read, “More and more governments in Europe have determined that decentralization, not  centralization, increases governmental efficiency.”

“The Republika Srpska could not have benefited from the reforms of the past several years without BiH’s decentralized structure,” it added.

The report further emphasized the entity's efforts to cooperate with the European Union and the IMF and in fields such as fight against terrorism.

Referring to disputes over the system of voting in Srebrenica, scene of the 1995 massacre, the report said that “outsiders are seeking to provoke ethnic tension” there.

“The High Representative has been urged to change BiH’s electoral law to  guarantee that an ethnic Serb is not elected mayor of Srebrenica,” the report claimed.

“It is illegal and destabilizing to impose collective punishment on the people of  Srebrenica by legislatively rigging their elections,” it maintained.

The report was released ahead of an address by the High Representative, Valentin Inzko to the UN Security Council on the situation in Bosnia in New York.

Inzko reported on the formation of the new government, adoption of the 2012 budget and the passage of laws that are important for the country's EU path.

Among the key issues, Inzko stated the importance of assuring political stability and ensuring that political and ethnic divisions do not increase.

Inzko also briefed the UN on lack of progress in fully implementing the so-called “5+2” agenda, which sets out five objectives and two conditions that need to be fulfilled by Bosnian authorities before the Office of the High Representative can be closed.

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