Marking January 9 as the Day of the Republika Srpska (RS), Bosnia's Serb-majority region, is unconstitutional pursuant to the Constitutional Court's decision, the Office of the High Representative (OHR) told N1, urging the politicians to refrain from negative rhetoric and actions.
“The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina decided on the compliance of January 9, 1992, as the day of establishing the Republic of the Serb people of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and found that marking this day is unconstitutional. We would like to underscore our earlier stance that the OHR is not against the RS marking its day but it must be arranged in accordance with Bosnia's constitutional framework,” said the OHR, institution established to oversee the civilian part of implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) which ended the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
“Also, we call on all politicians to demonstrate responsibility and refrain from negative rhetoric and actions,” said the Office.
Republika Srpska has been celebrating the date since 1992 when the assembly of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the Declaration on the Proclamation of the Republic of the Serb People – today Republika Srpska – as a federal unit within the Republic of Yugoslavia.
But, other ethnic groups, mostly Bosniaks, see January 9 as the beginning of massacres in the country which led to the war and the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.
Bosnia's Constitutional Court disputed several times the controversial holiday, passing the last such decision in March 2019.