Bosnia's international administrator: Support for Bonn Powers increasing

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Source: N1

The international community is increasingly in favour of certain changes being imposed in Bosnia, High Representative Valentin Inzko said on Thursday, adding that his office is working on a law banning genocide denial.

“Some things which are not tolerable anymore are taking place,” he said, adding that the climate in the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), a body made up of foreign ambassadors and heads of international organizations overseeing the peace process in Bosnia, is changing.

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Inzko said that more and more countries are in favour of him using the Bonn Powers – a special set of powers which allow High Representatives to impose laws and fire officials, among other things.

“I never had support for using the Bonn powers to this extent before,” Inzko told BHRT, Bosnia’s public broadcaster.

He said that this support indicates how frustrated the international community is with Bosnia, adding that there was still no concrete decision on how the powers would be used.

He hinted at the possibility that something may be done regarding the rule of law in the country and that the international community could influence changes in Bosnia’s judiciary.

“Something in that direction can be expected in the new year. For the international community, we must be united, and we are united on that issue both on implementation and on urgency. Some things need to happen urgently, especially when it comes to the judiciary,” he said.

Inzko pointed out that 75 percent of Bosnia’s citizens are not satisfied with the state of the judiciary and that this is one of the reasons why people keep leaving the country.

The Office of the High Representative is currently working on a law on banning genocide denial which could be imposed if the Parliament does not adopt it, he said.

“I will wait a couple of weeks. In the meantime, my people in the legal department are working on some elements of that law on banning genocide denial. I think that this is a cultural, moral and ethical imperative and if this would be done, Bosnia and Herzegovina would then be as other countries which punish those who deny the Holocaust,” Inzko said, stressing that the Parliament must adopt such a law, especially in the year when the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide is being marked.