Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Bosnia To Mark Embarrassing Anniversary

Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik (left) with EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, in May.
Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik (left) with EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, in May.
Just days before the first anniversary of a general election on October 3, leaders of Bosnia's main political parties failed on September 26 in their latest attempt to reconcile views on how the country should function, and left it without any agreement on a new central government.

This puts Bosnia near the top of a global list, second only to a European Union founding member, but this will be no cause for celebration, unless perhaps for those working to bring about the country's demise.

Bosnia wants to join Europe one day but it will not get very far if it emulates the example of Belgium, which has been without a government for more than 470 days because of bickering between Flemish and Walloon ethnic groups.

One immediate victim of yet another fiasco from Bosnia's Muslim, Serb and Croat politicians is financial aid to the tune of 96 million euros from the European Union.

The EU had given Bosnians an extra week to work out how this money would be divided between the state and two autonomous regions, or lose it all.

This is all but certain to happen now.

Playing Into The Hands Of Serb Nationalists

But what is perhaps of greater import than losing financial aid is the fact that the failure plays right into the hands of Bosnian Serb President Milorad Dodik and those who back him in his efforts to prove that Bosnia, as designed under the 1995 U.S.-led Dayton peace agreement, is not viable.

To the dismay of Western peace overseers, who impotently watch from the sidelines, Bosnia has become bogged down on its road to Europe since signing a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union three years ago, which was supposed to serve as a staging post for western Balkan countries en route to EU membership.

"A dangerous political standstill continues," said a press release from the embassy of the United States, which is the main sponsor of Bosnia's 16-year-old peace process along with the EU. "Party leaders must overcome their narrow individual political interests and form the Council of Ministers in order to open up possibilities for economic and social development."

Local media reported in the run-up to the meeting in the northern city of Brcko that Dodik and Zlatko Lagumdzija, the leader of the biggest multiethnic party, which actually enjoys mostly Muslim support, were close to striking an agreement on how to distribute ten ministerial posts in the central government and break the deadlock

It all fell through, however, on the recurring issue of the representation of Croats, the smallest ethnic group and the partners to Muslims in their Federation.

Croat leaders Dragan Covic (left) and Bozo Ljubic have played a role in hindering the latest round of negotiations.
Dodik, a onetime-Western-darling-turned-hardcore-nationalist who is the absolute master of Republika Srpska, the Serb Republic advocating separation from Bosnia, said Lagumdzija's Social Democrats (SDP), who govern in the Federation with the support of the main Muslim and two fringe Croat parties, cannot nominate three Croats to the state's Council of Ministers.

Dodik insists Lagumdzija can only nominate Muslims, while the two main Croat parties, HDZ and HDZ 1990, should nominate Croats. The support of Dodik's Alliance of Independent Social Democrats and the two HDZ parties is crucial for the approval of the cabinet in the state parliament.

Exacerbating Ethnic Divisions

Croat leaders Dragan Covic (HDZ) and Bozo Ljubic (HDZ 1990) say Lagumdzija is interpreting the Constitution incorrectly. They argue that officials from one ethnic group cannot just be members of that group; they need to legitimately represent it.

Covic and Ljubic had earlier threatened to form a third entity, which would revive the wartime self-proclaimed statelet of Herzeg-Bosna, after the Croat member of the country's three-man presidency was elected with mostly Muslim backing a year ago and they were left out of the federal government after the vote.

Conversely, together with some Serb and Croat politicians and intellectuals, as well as many Western officials and Balkan watchers, Muslims share the view that this would further cement ethnic divisions and pave the way for future disintegration.

"It would be like a return to the 17th or 18th century, to the pre-political phase," said Slavo Kukic, an ethnic Croat university professor in the southern town of Mostar, who in June didn't get support from the main Serb and Croat parties in the parliament as the SDP's candidate for prime minister.

The EU, whose foreign minister Catherine Ashton managed in May to persuade Dodik not to hold a potentially far-reaching referendum on rejecting decisions by the international envoy and rulings by the state court for war crimes, has said it wants to get more actively involved in sorting out the mess.

It picked Danish career diplomat Peter Sorensen as the new head of its mission, but also as its special representative, the post which has so far been twinned with that of the international High Representative, currently Valentin Inzko of Austria.

The EU hopes that persuading Bosnians to work together in beefed-up joint institutions would increase the state's functionality and boost their credibility, thereby prompting the United States and the other main peace sponsors to abolish the executive-power-wielding post of High Representative.

But at an introductory meeting with Sorensen earlier this month, Dodik indicated that this is not the road he plans to travel down, saying that Bosnia needed less joint institutions and better interethnic co-ordination, much like two independent countries.

-- Nedim Dervisbegovic
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Daniel Monte from: USA
September 29, 2011 12:41
Western press including you should stop with fabrication and outright lies about situation in Balkans.
First of all father of current Muslim leader in Bosnian presidency Alija Izetbegovic published book called
Islamic Declaration, in this book he laid clear markers of what kind of state he likes to have.Here is a
Quote” There cant be coexistence between Muslims and nonmuslim institutions” .This fact is never mentioned.
No better proof of intellectual dishonesty and double standards.For this very reason and with American support
He dishonored Lisbon peace agreement and started war.Today problems in Bosnia are for the same reason.
Bosnian leadership obviously going to west with lie about democracy. Iran didn’t provide arms to Bosnians to
Create social democracy. Government is not being formed not for Dodik nationalist politics but for Muslim
Leadership trying to circumvent rotation system that allows each ethnic group equal representation. So now Croats
Who are smallest ethnic group being sidelined by Muslims and deprived true representation.practicly Muslims are
Installing Croat representatives who will serve their political goals. So main problem are Croats being denied their
Rights not Dodik.
In Response

by: iko from: vrelo bosne
September 30, 2011 11:58
Daniel, if it is so blatant and indefensible then sue them. As to Izetbegovic's much cited universal Islamic Declaration, you grab onto the academic writing of a 44 year old living under a Socialist and religious oppressive regime but not to the writings as a 55 year old, Islam between East and West, which refines and defines the specifics of a Bosnian perspective, ten years before the collapse of the Berlin Wall. That is, not for political expediency- “I didn’t inhale”- but to show development and maturity of thought, which is a luxury we all claim.
In Response

by: Abdulmajid
September 30, 2011 20:22
That is no justification and does not exonerate the gangsters around Milosevic from starting teh genocidal anti-Boniska crusade nor from most Serbs supporting it, asnd as long as they don't disavow it - and I'm not holding my breath here - there can never be peace in Bosnia. And future generations of Bosniaks will have to learn to defend themselves form genocide by their Serb and Croat "neighbors". And yes, they have a right to exist in Bosnia evenas Muslims! Or do you have anything against that!

by: Bob Gnaz from: Canada
September 29, 2011 18:13
This post makes no sense. For example, it states: "Zlatko Lagumdzija, the leader of the biggest multiethnic party, which actually enjoys mostly Muslim support". How it is possible for its to be "multiethnic" and "mostly Muslim" at the same time? Maybe they claim that they are "multiethnic" but represent Muslim consistency (but Dodik party can make the same claim only in regards to their Serb voters)?
Further, the post blames Serb nationalists for impasse; however, later we find out that Serbs and Muslim came to agreement only to have the deal scuttled by Croats.
Lastly, the post claims that Dodik is "absolute master of Republika Srpska" - I believe that he is democratically elected and widely popular President, and the "master" language is too strong and has negative/authoritarian connotation (which is not true). Overall, the article only makes sense if you start with preposition that there is a problem and that Serbs must be blamed and then, try to connect the two without regard to facts or logic.
In Response

by: iko from: vrelo bosne
September 30, 2011 11:20
Bob don’t impute your notions of democracy to the RS- whilst Dodik is both a popular and elected leader of the RS government his power base is such that there are none of the checks and balances that one would expect to find in a functional democratic organisation.
He is what the US president would be like if he had complete majority in Congress and Senate and the media and the financial sectors and the judiciary and the internal security organs and the police and the public service and the executive. This alignment doesn’t suggest democratic conditions rather the perfect environment for intimidation and corruption. Compounding this is the slow realisation by the Bos Serbs that the ‘allegations’ of mass murder and genocide in eastern Bosnia of non-Serbs is not a western media beat up but an emerging cruel reality and their claim to political legitimacy rests upon this horror. Their response whether fueled by guilt or pride is to cling to the single mindedness of Dodik’s separatist’s policies.
He has no one to oppose him in his management of RS politics and economy and by association BiH’s functionality. By comparison the federation is both hamstrung by the Dayton accord while Dodik ignores its spirit and intent and manipulates to maintain dysfunctionality of anything Bosnian. You have not an inkling of the eroding power of this frustration for a Bosnian.
In Response

by: Daniel Monte from: USA
September 30, 2011 19:54
Bob we all know that one lie requiers another to support,so give guys break most likely they are told what to write.So have some understanding.When I see some writings I feel they treat us as North Korean citizens intelectualy.
In Response

by: Sarajevo from: Sarajevo
October 01, 2011 12:32
Question for the "intelectual superiority": What do you think there is in the houndreds of coffins on mass funeral on 11th of July in Srebrenica every year? How many innocent people and children were killed in Sarajevo siege? Also, I have a suggestion for you. Since you are obsessed with Serbs and hate Muslims, why don't you come to Bosnia and do some serious research? Or is it easyer to follow propaganda and faked history?
In Response

by: iko from: vb
October 01, 2011 12:58
Daniel with such circular nonsensical logic- 'whatever i don't agree with is a lie supported by a lie to prove the lie i don't agree with'- as to who is intellectually capable, whether North or South Korean or north or south USA, your comment speaks for itself- sort of.
In Response

by: Abdulmajid
October 02, 2011 20:08
I'm not told what to write. The comments by Serb supremacists and Muslim-haters here show their intellectual as well as moral shortcomings only too clearly. No need for me to insult them, they show what they are in every word they write And I can only say, people who are at the same time evil and stupid are the worst sort of human beings around. But they have demonstarted that all too clearly during 1992-95.And with what they insult my intelleigence most is when they say "the Milosevic era is past and Serbia has apologized for all crimes" The Milosevic era may well be past, but hatred and disdain of Bosniaks and the wish to destroy them are still very much alive and are believed by many people. And Milosevic was not ousted for starting the genocidal crusades against non-Serbs in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo but for losing them. As for having apologized for their crimes, the apology is insincere. As long as the Serb conquest in Bosina is not undone it is meaningless, and also any condemnation of the Serb war criminals is meaningless.

by: Jack from: US
September 30, 2011 02:20
I recall how RFERL was going out of its way lying about "Serb ultra-nationalists" and painting Muslims as victims, right at the time when Muslims were killing Christian women and children around Saraevo. Then US proceeded with illegal (even against its NATO allies) supply of weapons to Muslims terrorists in Bosnia, including Taliban and Iranian fighters who came to Bosnia to conduct "jihad".
I bet there are not a whole lot of Christians in Balkans who felt sorry for US on 9/11.
Probably most of them thought "Americans fully deserved what they got, they asked for it"
In Response

by: iko from: vrelo bosne
September 30, 2011 11:39
Jack, it’s sad that your apparent prejudice to Moslems has blinded you from the reality of what occurred in BiH during the 90’s and since. The figures speak for themselves and the admissions by the Serb president and the prosecution of many of the criminals involved in the events, both domestically and internationally, also speaks for itself. It may surprise you that Moslems and atheists in BiH wept at the tragedy of 9/11 and condemned the recognisable mentality that declares the arrogant right to kill indiscriminately for the sake of an obsessive belief. Do American Christians similarly condone such arrogance?

by: Wim Roffel from: Netherlands
October 05, 2011 10:09
So here we have a Muslim party that claims to be multi-ethnic because a handful of Croats voted for it. On this thin basis it has hijacked the posts that according to the Dayton Constitution are reserved for the Croat minority. That seems to me a major transgression and Dodik deserves praise for raising the issue.

According to the article establishing a third (Croat) entity would exacerbate ethnic tensions. But the article does not explain why and forgets to explain that it would be one way to prevent the kind of vote hijacking that we see now.

The statement that a Croat entity would be a return to the pre-political phase sounds rather farfetched to me. I would expect the opposite: getting the ethnic issue out of the way by establishing clear borders and rules opens the road for the voters to concentrate on other issues like the economy.
In Response

by: Abdulmajid
October 05, 2011 18:16
What clear borders are you talking about? and with what right should teh Bosniaks be ghettoized on two small isolated enclaves liek teh Palestinians? And squeezed into just 25% of the territory and cut off from the rest of teh world. And you think the Bosniaks will gladly agree to that? and if they don't it is legitimazte to force them, also by miliztary means, after all they're just Muslims and everybody knows that Muslims are the "enemy of Mankind", right? That anybody would support Karadzic's ideas, the most unworthy, despicable and reprehensible cause there is, and talk like Dodik as you do, is SHAMEFUL, and I would recommend you , Mr. Roffel, you declared anti-Bosniak, never to approach any Bosniaks!

by: Abdulmajid
October 05, 2011 18:10
What are those guys always whining about? After all in the areas where the Hercegovinian Croats dominate, which they ethnically cleansed of Bosniaks, they already do as they please and don't allow any Bosniaks to return. In such towns as West Mostar, Stolac, Livno, Pocitelj they keep the Bosniaks subdued (segregation at school, mosques dymanited and burnt down post-Dayton, harassment and discrimination of Bosniaks?? ) What the ... more do they want? Is it because they still feel superior to Bosniaks, the same as the Spanish Catholics felt superior to the Spanish Muslims back in the 16th century? Then, whio would want to share a country or even the planet with such racist, bigot, fascist people? Wouldn't the world be better off without such a malicious and malevolent lot? Let me remind them that the sea is not far off.

by: Leo from: USA
October 13, 2011 01:20
-That's what the Palestinians think the Jews deserve and look where that got them Mr.Abdulmajid...!!!
In Response

by: Abdulmajid
October 18, 2011 23:01
Well, Mister amateur historian, both Palestinians and Bosniaks are victims of aggression by superior brute force but if with your little comment you express the notion that Muslims, either in Bosnia, Palestine or Kashmir are subhuman and only there to have their backsides kicked, you just show your evil bigot fascist Islamophobic way of thinking and teh limits of your moral and inmtelligence, and I do not value your friendship nor have any sympathy for you, the likes of you, those you back (Israelis and Serbs). You shall not see us balije brought to our knees the way the Tibetans were brought to their knees by the Red Chinese.

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