News 18 Jun 07

Bosnian Presidency Members Call for Abolition of Entities

Sarajevo _ Bosnian Muslim and Croat members of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency urged the UN Secretary General to help annul “the results of genocide” by scrapping the two ethnic entities in the country.

The 1995 Dayton peace agreement ended the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and “did stop genocide but left Bosnia divided into two semi-autonomous entities,” the letter signed by the Muslim member, Haris Silajdzic and the Bosnian Croat, Zeljko Komsic, said.

The letter, not signed by the Bosnian Serb member of the Presidency, Nebojsa Radmanovic, was sent last week but was made public on Monday.

”Today, 12 years since the end of the war, the future of BiH remains a hostage of this ethno-territorial division,” the letter said.

Silajdzic and other Muslim leaders in the Federation have stepped up their demands for abolition of the Bosnian Serb entity, the Republika Srpska.

They say they are empowered by the February ruling of the International Court of Justice, ICJ, based in The Hague, which said Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide in July 1995 in the eastern enclave of Srebrenica.

The letter repeated the claims that the existence of a Serbian entity on territory that had once been multiethnic was a direct consequence of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

The Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, last week expressed anger over Silajdzic’s calls. “We have no intention of talking to Silajdzic about any issue as long as he continues to claim the police in Republika Srpska committed genocide. That is a lie and this must stop,” Dodik said.

Dodik said talks on reforms, including over the police, would be halted until Bosnia’s Muslim and Croat politicians accept that the Serbian entity of Bosnia is here to stay.

“They can think whatever they want about Republika Srpska but until they realistically accept it, there will be no agreement, even if Bosnia has to stand still for a hundred years on its path to the European Union,” Dodik said.

At a meeting of the UN Security Council in May, the international community issued a tough warning to Bosnian politicians to stop nationalistic posturing or forget EU membership.

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