I will not sacrifice peace for Republika Srpska, says Bosnian Serb leader

Milorad Dodik, Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina speaks during an interview in his office in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, November 11, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia, Nov.11 (Reuters) – Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, whose secessionist views are widely seen as endangering a Bosnian peace deal, said in a Reuters interview Thursday that no political goals was not worth the sacrifice of peace in Bosnia.

“I am not ready to sacrifice peace for anything,” said Dodik, a Serbian member of the Bosnian interethnic tripartite presidency. “I am not ready to sacrifice the peace for a fight for Republika Srpska.”

Dodik’s comments come as Bosnia experiences its worst political crisis since the end of the war in the 1990s, rekindling fears of a new conflict after Bosnian Serbs in late July blocked the work of the central government while that Dodik announced measures to defeat the key state. establishments. Read more

As part of the United States-sponsored Dayton Peace Accords that ended the devastating 1992-1995 war, Bosnia was divided into two self-governing regions – the Serbian Republic and the Croat-dominated and Russian Federation. Muslim Bosnians, bound by a weak central government.

The country’s constitution is part of the peace agreement.

Dodik, a strong supporter of Russia, reiterated that the Serbian Republic would withdraw from the Bosnian armed forces, the supreme judiciary and the tax administration.

He says the three institutions – which represent key pillars of state security, the rule of law and the tax system – were established on the basis of decisions of international envoys for peace, are not listed. in the constitution and turned out to be unnecessary.

His team will propose these initiatives, along with the rescinding of around 140 laws imposed by emissaries of peace, to the region’s parliament by the end of November, he said.

“We will withdraw our agreement (on the joint army) and leave a period of six months to draft the accompanying legislation,” he said, leaving open the possibility of discussing the modifications of the force which he considered. non-functional and too expensive.

Bosnia’s international peace envoy Christian Schmidt warned the UN Security Council in a report last week that Dodik’s measures “amounted to secession without proclaiming it.” Read more

Schmidt told Reuters that the red line for the international community would be the withdrawal of the Serbian Republic from the joint armed forces. Read more

Dodik has previously stated that he is aiming for the full autonomy of the Serbian Republic within Bosnia, rather than secession, which would not affect the territorial integrity of the country.

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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