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News 05 Feb 18

Izetbegovic: Bosnian Croat Entity 'Impossible Without War'

After Bosnian Croats called for the establishment of a third, Croat-ed entity in the country, the Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, warned that this could cause armed conflict.

Mladen Lakic
BIRN
Sarajevo
Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak member of the Bosnian presidency. Photo: Samir Yordamovic/Anadolu.

Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak member of the Bosnian tripartite presidency, warned on Sunday that Croats "cannot get a third entity in Bosnia without a war".

His reaction came after a Bosnian Croat declaration last week which lent support to Croats’ campaign to have an entity of their own in Bosnia, in addition to the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska and the Bosniak-Croat Federation.

"This nonsense that serves their own constituency... Do you think that after the concentration camps, someone would allow something like that?" Izetbegovic told Croatian public broadcaster HRT, referring to prison camps run by Bosnian Croats where Bosniaks were held during the 1990s war.

Many officials in Croatia, and many Bosnian Croats, advocate the formation of a so-called ‘third entity’ in Bosnia, which would be Croat-dominated, as Republika Srpska is led by Serbs.

But Izetbegovic warned against what he said were attempts to divide up Bosnia and Herzegovina

"Do not cross the red line," he said.

Bosnian Croats also want election legislation amended to ensure that predominantly Bosniak communities elect a Bosniak representative, while Croat ones elect a Croat representative.

This would involve dividing the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Federation entity into ethnically-based electoral units.

Izetbegovic said this was also unacceptable.

"Do not force Bosniak children to learn Croatian, teach them that their capital is Zagreb, and give them end-of-year reports with the [Croat] checkerboard [logo], which is happening in central Bosnia," he said.

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