Bosnia's int. administrator: U.S. supports use of Bonn Powers if necessary

NEWS 15.09.2020 18:46
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Source: N1

It would be best if the issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina would be resolved domestically and without any interference, but if the situation in the country remains as it is, the international community will be in favour of imposing solutions, the country’s international administrator, Valentin Inzko, told N1 on Tuesday.

Inzko is the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, tasked to oversee the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement. He has the possibility of using the ‘Bonn Powers’ – a special set of powers enabling him to, among other things, impose laws and fire officials in Bosnia.

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“The last time I was at the UN Security Council, the U.S. administration explicitly said that the Bonn Powers should be used if necessary, and the Germans said the same thing,” Inzko said.

“I find that domestic solutions are the best, but if this situation continues there will be a shift in the international community and the use of the Bonn Powers will be demanded, not because of us, but because of the interests of the people,” he said, adding that support for the use of those powers is much bigger now than it was five years ago but that “no decision on it has been made yet.”

Inzko said that it is still not the right time for closing down the Office of the High Representative (OHR), but that it is time for constitutional changes in the country.

“When there is a positive assessment of the political situation in the country and when there is full implementation of the Dayton Agreement, that will be the time for closing down the OHR. Now we can not speak about closing it down, especially in light of the rhetoric on secession,” he said, referring to frequent statements from top Bosnian Serb officials who advocate for the Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) entity to secede from Bosnia.

Inzko also noted that he recently met with US Envoy for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, and that the “the US has not lost its interest in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

“Apart from all the crises in the world, which are a lot bigger than those in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Palmer found time to come to Bosnia and I am grateful for that,” Inzko said, adding that the US official announced he would visit the country again soon.