Home Page
news 10 Feb 14

Bosnian Protesters Urge More Politicians to Resign

People rallied in several towns across Bosnia, demanding more concessions after four cantonal prime ministers resigned and police released protesters held in last week’s unrest.

Elvira M. Jukic

Around 1,000 protesters gathered in front of the fire-damaged Bosnian presidency in Sarajevo on Monday, one of several government buildings burned during last week’s outbreak of unrest, while demonstrators also held peaceful rallies in several other parts of the country.

The Sarajevo protesters then marched to the Bosniak-Croat Federation government building, demanding more resignations.

Several hundred people gathered meanwhile in front of the badly-damaged cantonal government building in Tuzla, the northern industrial town where the unrest over unemployment, corrupt privatisations and the country’s dire economic situation started last Wednesday, at rallies led by workers at major factories that went bust after being sold off by the state.

In the town of Bijeljina in the Serb-led entity of Republika Srpska, there were two rival protests: one against the local government, the other in support of the Serb authorities.

The Croat and Bosniak members of the tripartite state presidency, Zeljko Komsic and Bakir Izetbegovic, turned up for work at their riot-damaged building in Sarajevo on Monday before being advised to go home by police, citing security fears.

Himzo Selimovic, the director of the police coordinating body which is responsible for security at the presidency, also resigned on Sunday, saying that his agency did everything it could to prevent the chaos in Sarajevo but adding he could not guarantee security for political leaders at the building.

New rallies were announced for Monday in Bugojno, Livno and Prijedor by people who said on social networks that one of their aims was achieving the resignation of the Federation entity government. Police in Mostar however said that a planned protest in the south-western town should not go ahead because it was not authorised.

Meanwhile people in the north-western town of Bihac, which has also seen unrest in recent days, ended their protests on Sunday after the resignation of the prime minister of the Una-Sana canton, Hamdija Lipovaca.

The Social Democratic Party, SDP, and the Party of Democratic Action, the two main Bosniak parties, said in separate statements on Sunday that they will call for early elections because of the situation.

“If the lawmakers do not accept and adopt this proposal, we call on the High Representative Valentin Inzko [the top international official in Bosnia] to call for early elections since he has a mandate for that,” the SDP said.

Meanwhile the main Serb parties’ leaders, Milorad Dodik of Alliance of Independent Social Democrats and Mladen Bosic of the Serb Democratic Party, met the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade and said that Republika Srpska was not involved in the unrest and that the protests were held exclusively by Bosniaks in the Federation entity.

“These ongoing protests show that Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot survive internal challenges and that it doesn’t function,” Dodik said.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic on Sunday paid a visit to Mostar, where Croats are in the majority, saying that he wanted a peaceful resolution to the recent unrest.

“I came here to calm the situation,” said Milanovic.

But he was criticised by Komsic, the Croat member of Bosnian tripartite Presidency, who said that Milanovic should not have just visited the Croat-majority area of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

blog comments powered by Disqus


10 Apr 14

Plenums Tell Bosnia Federation Govt to Quit

The 'plenum of all plenums', meeting in Sarajevo, demanded the resignation of the Federation entity government as well as a review of all privatization agreements.

08 Apr 14

Bosnia Court Frees Two Alleged Arsonists

A Bosnian Court has abolished custody for two persons suspected of terrorism for having allegedly set fire to the Bosnian Presidency building during the February 7 protests.

04 Apr 14

Rock Band Urges Bosnians to Keep Protests Alive

Sarajevans enjoyed a surprise concert by Dubioza Kolektiv, a popular band, whose members urged them to keep up street protests and support the newly formed civic plenums.

27 Mar 14

Tuzla Gets New Govt After Mass Protests

After the governments of four of Bosnia's cantons quit in the wake of the mass protests in February, one of them, Tuzla, finally has a new government.

10 Mar 14

Bosnia Arrests Two for Sarajevo Protest 'Terrorism'

Two men have been detained for allegedly setting fire to official buildings amid violent clashes that broke out during mass protests in Sarajevo last month.

07 Mar 14

Bosnia Protesters Reject Officials' Complaints

While citizens are still protesting in the streets of several towns, the authorities in Sarajevo are trying to discredit them, saying they are causing a nuisance to the rest of population.

04 Mar 14

Intellectuals Demand End to Meddling in Bosnia

An open letter from a group of left-oriented intellectuals says the international community should end its 'neo-colonial rule' in Bosnia, which recent protests show has ended in failure.

27 Feb 14

Bosnian Serb Leader Slates Veterans' Protest

Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik said planned protests by war veterans in Banja Luka were aimed at destabilizing the entity.

26 Feb 14

Bosnia Police Chief Predicts New Protests

The police chief of Bosnia's Federation entity, Dragan Lukac, has warned of new mass protests in March - a month after they first escalated, resulting in arrests, injuries and damage to buildings.

24 Feb 14

Sarajevo Accepts Protesters’ ‘Expert Government’ Demand

The cantonal assembly in the Bosnian capital has accepted demands from a ‘citizens’ plenum’ to form a government of experts and to take action to limit officials’ financial privileges.


The ‘Bosnian Spring’ Starts With a Bang

The Bosnian protests are the result of years of corruption, economic decay and in-fighting among ethno-political elites, but it is far from certain that they can bring real change.