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Thousands Protest Corruption In Bosnia's Serbian Entity

Protesters in Banja Luka denounced the government over corruption and suppression of media freedom

Several thousand people have demonstrated in the Serb-dominated part of Bosnia-Herzegovina against government corruption and curbs on media freedom.

Led by opposition parties, protesters on October 2 accused the ruling party of nationalist leader Milorad Dodik of criminal behavior, cronyism, and corruption.

They also demanded the firing of the health minister and hospital managers in the Republika Srpska over alleged corruption in the procurement of supplies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including oxygen used for ventilators.

Shouts of "Thieves" and "Enough is enough" were heard echoing through the crowd at a protest in the main city Banja Luka.

The opposition in the Republika Srpska has accused the government of curbing media freedoms.

It says the ruling party is attempting to shut down critical media under the guise of Bosnia's switch away from an analogue signal for commercial television.

The Republika Srpska and the Bosniak-Croat entity were formed after the Balkan country's civil war in 1995.

The country's administrative structures created by Dayton accords ending the war left it with a weak central government with most powers devolved to two autonomous entities: the Muslim-Croat federation and the Republika Srpska.

With reporting by AFP