It is not within the competencies of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency to change the plaque on the dormitory named after convicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic in Bosnia’s Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) entity, the Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik said in response to the request by Bosnia’s international administrator.
High Representative Valentin Inzko, who is tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement in Bosnia, recently said that if the dormitory is not renamed, Dodik could end up being unwelcome in the EU.
“If that (plaque) is not removed, then I will ask the Security Council next May for the EU to ban entry to all those who deny genocide and glorify war criminals,” he said.
The student dormitory named after Karadzic is located in Pale, near the Bosnian capital and in the RS. Karadzic was sentenced to life in prison for genocide and other war crimes he had committed during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia by a UN court.
Dodik, who is also the leader of the ruling party in the semi-autonomous RS entity, was the one to ceremonially open the student dormitory.
He has been at odds with Inzko for years, accusing the Austrian diplomat of leading an anti-Serb policy.
Dodik said that “Bosnia and Herzegovina has international supervision and is an international protectorate where a foreigner who was not elected is the ruler.”
The Office of the High Representative was introduced in Annexe 10 of the Dayton Agreement and was supposed to be the institution that interprets the civilian part of the agreement, but the official has no executive power, he said. Later, the High Representative was also given the ‘Bonn Powers’, which allow him to impose laws, Dodik added.
“Those laws which the High Representative imposes are unsustainable, they change Bosnia’s Constitution. If we change the Constitution, then we legalise everything they (previous High Representatives) did. Then it’s all over,” he said. “We must not allow this to happen,” he added.
Dodik said that he is one of the people who “do not believe in Bosnia and Herzegovina” and that Bosnian Serbs did not get the status they should according to the Dayton Agreement.
The Bosnian Serb leader also argued that the Venice Commission said that Bosnia can not become an EU member while it is an “international protectorate” and criticised the introduction of foreign judges in Bosnia’s Constitutional Court, arguing that they now, alongside the Bosniak judges, “make up the majority and impose decisions” in the institution.
“This does not exist anywhere else,” Dodik said, arguing that such a setup breaches Bosnia’s sovereignty.