The President of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated part, Republika Srpska (RS), Milorad Dodik, has stopped being an important and relevant political factor some time ago but his threats of secession should be taken seriously, Dodik’s Bosniak deputy, Ramiz Salic, said on Monday.
Salkic was speaking at a event organised by his political party, the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), in the northern town of Teslic.
Dodik has been advocating Republika Srpska’s the secession from Bosnia for over a decade. He recently again proposed a “peaceful division” of the country, saying that the RS has all elements of statehood.
Bosnia is “not former Yugoslavia” and Dodik must know that there will be no partition of the country, Salkic said, adding that the sooner the Bosnian Serb leader understands this, the better it will be “for all of us.”
“This is why this entity (RS) must adapt to the lives and needs of all of its citizens, in accordance with European values, and it must do so as soon as possible. This entity is not only the ownership of Serbs or of the regime of Milorad Dodik, but of all of its citizens,” he said.
The RS President has launched a discussion in the RS National Assembly (Parliament) aimed to annul a 2004 report regarding the crimes that took place in Srebrenica in June 1995, when a massacre that international courts had ruled was an act of genocide claimed the lives of more than 8,000 Bosniaks.
Dodik’s initiative is counterproductive and an attempt to revise history, according to Salkic.
“No revision of this report will change the facts that were proven in court regarding this, but also regarding other cases of grave crimes and ethnic cleansing on the territory of this (RS) entity,” he said, adding that the fact that courts declared what happened was genocide will remain written in history forever, and that “the entire world knows this.”
Two SDA lawmakers in the RS National Assembly, Senad Bratic and Mihnet Okic, decided against attending the Wednesday session dedicated to the 2004 Srebrenica report.
“The Report on Srebrenica is final and was confirmed by the relevant international institutions,” Bratic had said.