SNSD: Dodik insists on respect for Republika Srpska

Source: N1

By leaving the meeting with the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) over the lack of the Bosnian Serb entity flag in the room, the Chairman of Bosnia’s Presidency has shown persistence in his request for respect for Republika Srpska (RS), the spokesman for Milorad Dodik’s party said on Wednesday.

To the surprise of the ambassadors of the countries that signed Bosnia’s 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement as guarantors and who are in charge of its implementation, Dodik excused himself for leaving the meeting and explained that the conditions for his participation have not been met since the flag of the semi-autonomous Serb-dominated region he comes from is not displayed in the room.

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“The message from him and from us in Republika Srpska is very clear,” the spokesperson for Dodik's Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), Radovan Kovacevic, said. “We demand respect for Republika Srpska, the recognition of its symbols which are in line with the Constitution, the law and if there is no respect for our symbols, there is no respect for Republika Srpska and we are not obliged to respect anything else in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

If the RS flag is not welcome, that means Republika Srpska is not welcome which again means that someone does not want Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he explained.

“We understand that message well and we will act accordingly,” Kovacevic concluded.

Dodik and his party have been advocating for the secession of Republika Srpska and its annexation to neighbouring Serbia for more than a decade.

Kovacevic said that Dodik had offered for Bosnia’s sovereignty to be strengthened through the elimination of foreign judges in Bosnia’s Constitutional Court and the closing of the office of the High Representative, a post held by international diplomats who are tasked with monitoring the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement and who report to the PIC.

In this way, the representatives of the country’s peoples would start making decisions independently, he explained.

The hardline nationalist Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who has been elected to the Serb seat of the Presidency, has been at odds with High Representatives for years, accusing them of breaching international law and imposing laws on the country.