Analysis 23 Sep 16

War Talk Grips Balkans Ahead of Bosnia Vote

The controversial referendum in Bosnia's Serb-dominated entity has unleashed passions and language of a kind not seen since the 1990s - with the media in some countries fanning the flames.

Danijel Kovacevic, Milivoje Pantovic, Srecko Latal BIRN Banja Luka, Belgrade, Sarajevo
Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolic. Photo: Mladen Obradovic/Beta

Serbia’s President, Tomislav Nikolic, has asked the Serbian military to “carry out its regular duties much more carefully” following the heated exchange of threats between Bosniak [Muslim], Bosnian Serb and Serbian officials, media reports said on Thursday.

“No one will catch us by surprise,” President Nikolic said, adding that the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was being carefully monitored.

His statement followed a series of harsh, even warmongering, comments that have shaken the region as a controversial referendum in the mainly Serbian entity of Bosnia, Republika Srpska, draws near.

Some believe the harshness of the politicians’ statements also reflects the fact that Bosnia faces local elections October 2.

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