Bosnia was set up as a disfigured state which should never have survived the year 1996 and any attempt to turn it into a civic state is “devious trickery” advocated by the main Bosniak party in the country so it can set up an “Islamic state,” the Serb member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency said at an event in the western town of Drvar where he met with Serbia’s President on Friday.
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic participated in a commemoration event for Serbs who lost their lives in the western Krajina region in 1995. The event was part of the ‘Days of remembering’ commemorative manifestation for all Serb war victims of the 20th century.
The Serbian President was recently declared an honorary citizen of Drvar.
Dodik and Vucic met with the mayors of Drvar, Glamoc, Bosanski Petrovac and Bosansko Grahovo, as well as some lawmakers.
They also went to the eastern town of Grahovo where they visited the birthplace of Gavrilo Princip - the young man who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in 1914 which led to the outbreak of World War I.
Vucic announced that his country has provided two million Bosnian Marks for projects in Drvar.
“We will give as much as is needed, so you develop,” he said.
“Serbia is behind you,” he added.
Dodik said that Drvar, Bosanski Petrovac, Glamoc and Bosansko Grahovo are Serb land and that Serbs have learned that “there were various regimes and government systems in power here, but Serbs remained in this area.”
He strongly criticised a proposed declaration the main Bosniak party in the country, the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), is to discuss on Saturday.
The proposed SDA declaration advocates for, among other things, a ‘Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina’, the affirmation of a ‘Bosnian language’ as the ‘common identity of all of Bosnia’s citizens’, a reform of the police force and setting up a supreme court.
Dodik said that Serbs will never give up on Republika Srpska (RS) - the Serb-dominated semi-autonomout entity within the country.
He said that the SDA has “an illusion” of “some kind of Islamic state in which they are supposed to be the majority, so they can introduce sharia law,” adding that the RS will not allow for that to happen.
He argued that the announced SDA declaration represents an attack on the Constitution.
“Republika Srpska does not share such views, we are not going toward NATO and we do not want a unitarian Bosnia and Herzegovina to be created. Bosnia will sooner dissolve than be a unitarian state,” he said, referring to the political crisis which emerged over Bosnia's path toward NATO membership and prevented the country from forming a new government since the October 2018 election.
The narrative about a civic state which is coming from Sarajevo is “a devious trick,” he said.
“They (Bosniaks) think that they are the majority and that with that they have all the political rights. They think that Serbs are naive and dumb enough to agree to that,” he said.
He also alleged that foreign organisations provided a lot of money for Bosniak returnees to the RS, but that those actions were selective as they did not fund any returns for Serbs in the other semi-autonomous entity, the Federation (FBiH).
“Bosnia and Herzegovina was set up as a disfigured state and it should have not survived the year 1996, but someone put it together,” Dodik said, adding that the High Representatives - the foreign officials the international community names to oversee the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement - have been “changing the Dayton Agreement by using the Bonn powers."
The so-called ‘Bonn powers’ enable High Representatives to impose or annul laws and fire public officials as high as presidents who violate the Peace Agreement, which also contains Bosnia’s Constitution.
Vucic would not comment on Bosnia’s political crisis, saying that he did not want to interfere in Bosnia’s internal issues.