news 05 Jul 17

Bosnian Serb Leader Threatens Secession over Holidays

President Milorad Dodik said Serb-dominated Republika Srpska will have no reason to remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina if the country's Constitutional Court approves state holidays not celebrated by Serbs.

Banja Luka
Republika Srpska's President Milorad Dodik. Photo: Beta.

Milorad Dodik warned on Wednesday that Republika Srpska coud leave Bosnia and Herzegovina if the state Constitutional Court doesn't rule against the country's Independence Day and Statehood Day after already ruling the annual Day of Republika Srpska holiday unconstitutional.

“If the court consents to the March 1 [Independence Day] and November 25 [Statehood Day] celebrations, then we have no place in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Dodik told a press conference in Banja Luka.

“The judges said that January 9 as RS's statehood day endangers others. Since it is very clear that March 1 isn't celebrated by Serbs, they are therefore endangered,” he said.

Dodik was referring to a decision by Bosnia and Herzegovina's Constitutional Court in 2015, which declared the January 9 Day of Republika Srpska unconstitutional as it is discriminatory against non-Serbs in the entity.

MPs in RS's National Assembly then lodged a motion with the Constitutional Court in response, asking it to review the constitutionality of March 1 as Bosnia and Herzegovina's Independence Day and November 25 as its Statehood Day.

The MPs argue that the March 1 and November 25 holidays are not “representative of a will of all three [of the country’s] constitutive peoples [Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs]”.

The court is due to deliberate the motion on Thursday.

March 1 is commemorated in the Bosniak and Croat-dominated Federation and marks the 1992 referendum which saw Bosnia and Herzegovina succeed from Yugoslavia. Serbs, however, boycotted the referendum and therefore do not consider March 1 as their holiday.

November 25 - the day Bosnia was re-established in 1943 by the state’s Anti-Fascist Council - is also shunned by the Serbs.

They instead celebrate January 9, the day when they declared the establishment of RS in 1992 - a move which is seen by non-Serbs in the country as a precursor to the war that followed.

RS held a referendum on the holiday in September last year, in which 99.8 per cent voted in favour of keeping the date the same.

The referendum however was also declared unconstitutional by Bosnia's Constitutional Court.

Dodik has repeatedly threatened to secede from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

However, in an interview with Politico last week, he said that no referendum on independence will be held next year, despite describing Bosnia and Herzgovina as a “failing state”.

“A referendum in 2018 would cause many reactions, and we still want to build up the momentum to have it legitimised as our right,” Dodik told Politico.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

News 12 Jan 18

Macedonia President Urged to Veto Language Law

News 12 Jan 18

Croatian War Widows Slate HRT 'Insulting' Comedy Film

News 11 Jan 18

Macedonia Passes Albanian Language Law

Interview 10 Jan 18

Bosnia’s Judicial Overseer Vows to Speed Up Prosecutions

News 09 Jan 18

Bosnian Serbs March in ‘Statehood Day’ Parade

news 05 Jan 18

Serbs Cancel Kosovo Christmas Trip to Avoid Protest

News 04 Jan 18

Bosnian Serbs to Name Streets after Banned Holiday



Serb Minority Rights Scripted Out in Croatia

The muted response to the Croatian town of Vukovar’s decision to scrap controversial bilingual signs in Latin and Serb Cyrillic script suggests the EU has lost focus on minority rights, analysts claimed.

Croatian Dissident Feared Kidnap by Yugoslav Spies

The trial of Zdravko Mustac and Josip Perkovic, former Yugoslav spy chiefs accused of killing a Croatian émigré, heard that the victim repeatedly told his German lover that he was living in fear.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter