News 06 May 16

UN Warned About Bosnian Serb ‘Secession’ Threat

The top international official in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, warned the UN Security Council that the Bosnian Serb leadership was threatening a referendum on secession and glorifying war criminals.

Denis Dzidic
BIRN
Sarajevo
Valentin Inzko. Photo: OHR.

Inzko, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, told the UN Security Council in New York on Thursday about that he was worried that representatives of the ruling party in the Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska and its president Milorad Dodik are advocating secession.

“I remain concerned that this party’s official platform includes a threat to organise an independence referendum in 2018 if certain conditions are not met,” Inzko said.

He added that such attempts to undermine the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina “continue to cast a shadow over positive efforts to advance economic and social reforms”.

In his report to the Security Council, Inzko also stressed that the reactions to the recent verdict by the UN-backed court in The Hague which sentenced former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic to 40 years in prison for genocide and other crimes highlighted the need for greater efforts towards reconciliation.

Inzko also rapped Republika Srpska president Dodik for the high-profile opening of a student dormitory in Pale named after Karadzic only two days before his conviction.

“In our countries it would be unthinkable to glorify individuals convicted of committing mass atrocities,” Inzko said.

“With this act, the president sent an insidious message to those affected by the horror and trauma of wartime ethnic cleansing, and put himself outside the standards and morality of the civilised world,” he added.

Political analyst Gostimir Popovic told local media that the Republika Srpska parliament should adopt a resolution condemning Inzko because of his report.

“The Republika Srpska People’s Assembly should discuss the inaccuracies in Inzko’s report and say once and for all: ‘Inzko, go home,’” said Popovic.

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