Croat Presidency member files charges against Dodik for statements about army

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Source: AFP

Zeljko Komsic, the Croat member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency, filed criminal charges against his Serb colleague Milorad Dodik for saying members of the armed forces should wear the uniforms of the wartime Bosnian Serb army, next year.

As he announced earlier, Komsic sued Dodik for his Sunday statements at a ceremony marking the anniversary of the Third Infantry Regiment ‘Republika Srpska’ which preserves the tradition of the wartime army of Bosnia's Serb-dominated region of Republika Srpska.

Speaking at the event, Dodik urged the members of the Regiment, which is formally part of Bosnia's Armed Forces, to wear the wartime uniforms in the next year's ceremony because, as he said, it was their day.

He also said the abolition of the Army of Republika Srpska, one of two Bosnia's semi-autonomous entities, was a mistake.

Eight years after the end of the 1992-95 armed conflict in Bosnia, the country conducted defence reform, merging the Republika Srpska's and the Federation's entity armies into one, with the command at the state level.

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Dodik's statements caused foreign and local politicians and institutions to condemn them as counterproductive and detrimental reconciliation between peoples.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also said the structure of the Armed Forces today is the result of a unanimous decision, adding that it “has arguably been the most significant and successful reform since the end of the conflict.”

“Inflammatory and divisive rhetoric on any topic, but particularly this one, is both out of place and unacceptable in modern BiH (Bosnia),” an OSCE press release said.

Other foreign institutions to condemn his statements were the Office of the High Representative which oversees the civilian implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, that ended the war in Bosnia, the US Embassy to Bosnia, EU Delegation to Bosnia and the EUFOR, the European force in charge of preserving peace in the country.