Challenging the name of the Republika Srpska (RS) entity before the Constitutional Court would be counterproductive and irresponsible, the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board said Tuesday while it also condemned recent rhetoric and actions that question the territorial integrity of Bosnia.
The Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), the international community representatives who oversee the implementation of the agreement that ended Bosnia’s war, said they recognise the concerns regarding discrimination of constituent peoples and citizens across the country as legitimate, but that the name ‘Republika Srpska’ is enshrined in the Constitution.
The country’s main Bosniak party, the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), announced it would challenge the name before the Constitutional Court, arguing it is discriminatory against non-Serbs.
The PIC recalled that the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina recognises that the country consists of two entities, the Bosniak-Croat shared Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and the RS.
However, the body also condemned recent threats with secession as well as requests for a territorial reorganisation of the country.
“The PIC SB has repeatedly expressed its commitment to the territorial integrity and fundamental structure of Bosnia as a single, sovereign state comprising two entities and that there will be no redrawing of the State map,” the Steering Board said. “In this context, the PIC SB strongly condemned recent rhetoric and actions that question the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia or demand the territorial reorganisation of the country, and thus create tensions over fundamental aspects of the Dayton Peace Accords (which ended the 1992-1995 war in the country).”
The PIC SB also condemned the HNS’ Declaration adopted on Sunday, rejecting the UN war crimes tribunal verdicts on the joint criminal enterprise committed by members of the Croat Defence Council (HVO), the armed force that took part in Bosnia’s war.
The Declaration said that it wants to restore the dignity of the HVO. The HVO fought a “just and legitimate” war, defending the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina populated by Croats, the document said.
However, the war crimes the Croatia-backed force committed while establishing in 1993 the self-declared statelet of Herzeg-Bosna were “not the random acts of a few unruly soldiers,” the judges of the Hague-based tribunal said when they sentenced six Herceg Bosna leaders to a total of some 110 years in prison.
Therefore, the PIC SB said that any attempt by political actors to reject the decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia are “unacceptable and not in line” with Bosnia's international commitments, including its European path.
The PIC SB called upon all parties to refrain from any further divisive action and rhetoric and to engage constructively on the formation of authorities at all levels to move the country forward.