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news 10 Jan 13

Dodik Upbeat on Bosnian Serb Entity's 21st Birthday

Celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik said it was stronger than ever, a permanent guarantee of the survival of the Serbian community in Bosnia.

Elvira M. Jukic

At celebrations marking the entity's 21st anniversary on January 9, the President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, said the entity was stronger than ever, and was now the only sustainable community in Bosnia.

“We want Republika Srpska to be eternal for the good of the Serbian people and of all other citizens who live in it,” Dodik said in in Banja Luka on Wednesday.

He said enormous efforts had been undertaken in creating Republika Srpska following the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, and the Serbs considered it the only guarantee for Serbian survival in the area.

“We want to keep Srpska for our offspring who must never forget all the sacrifices given for its creation,” he said. “Many gave up their lives for the creation of Srpska and their families are permanently grieving. The Republic never forget that, and never will.”

Dodik said he respected the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia as set by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, adding that Serbian rights should be respected as well.

The President said the entity had established relations with all the countries in the region, and with key factors such as the EU, the US, Russia, China, Israel and Arabic countries.

But the priority for Republika Srpska remained the brotherly relationship with Serbia, Dodik continued.

On the occasion of the anniversary, medals of honour were awarded to the Military Medical Academy from Belgrade and the Serbian tennis player, Novak Djokovic.

Other medals were given to others who, as was said, had contributed to a better life in Republika Srpska.

The Republic of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina was proclaimed on January 9, 1992. It was later renamed Republika Srpska.

The entity's existence was confirmed by the internationally brokered Dayton Ohio accords of 1995, which ended the 1992-5 war in the country.

The Republika Srpska's first president was Radovan Karadzic, who was later indicted for war crimes committed during the war.

He is currently on trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY.

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