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Bosnian Serbs Warn Against Breakup Of Bosnia

20 December 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Bosnian Serb President Dragan Cavic is warning the international community that any attempt to abolish Republika Srpska -- the Bosnian Serb entity -- would push Serbs toward a referendum on their independence and the breakup of Bosnia.

Cavic said in a statement released yesterday that Bosnia's system of two entities, established by the
Dayton Peace agreement that ended the 1992-95 war, underpins Bosnia's integrity. He said any attempt to radically change it would cause a crisis and the possible breakup of Bosnia.

His comments were issued after a local newspaper asked High Representative to Bosnia Paddy Ashdown about the possibility of abolishing Republika Srpska if it continued its noncooperation with the UN war crimes court.

Ashdown was quoted as replying that he does not exclude anything and that everything is possible.

Bosnia's Prime Minister Dragan Mikerevic and Foreign Minister Mladen Ivanic, a Serb, resigned over the issue on 17 and 18 December, respectively.