When discussing the future of Bosnia’s Constitution, the international community must take into account verdicts by international courts which were not available when the country’s current Constitution was written as part of the agreement that ended the Bosnian war, the former Prime Minister of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Haris Silajdzic, said in a video conference marking 25 years since the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed.
The international conference, named “The Legacy of Peace – 25 Years of the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement,” was organised by Croatia’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and Croatian Academy of Sciences.
The 1995 Peace Agreement includes Bosnia’s Constitution.
Silajdzic, wh also served as the Bosniak member of the country's tripartite Presidency, said that “it is very difficult to talk about Bosnia and Herzegovina without the context.”
BiH is a very old European country within its existing borders for over 1,000 years, he said.
He stressed that the Dayton Peace Agreement was necessary, but also that it “rewarded the aggression and genocide.”
“Now we are working towards a new solution. We need civic democracy n BiH, not ethnic democracy. This what we have was imposed on us by aggression and genocide, a totally ethnic concept,” he said.
Silajdzic expressed hope that the international community would take the verdicts by international courts regarding the war in BiH into account when discussing the future of the Dayton Agreement.
“In Dayton, we did not have any verdicts of the Hague Tribunal (The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia). Now we have them. Everything is clear,” the former top Bosnian official said, arguing that it is clear that the war in Bosnia was not a civil war, but aggression – “an international conflict on the territory of BiH.”
These verdicts should be “a new milestone for the future of the constitution of BiH. The genocide must not be rewarded two times,” he said.
“We are an old European country, and we have the right to exist in a normal democracy, which we do not have now,” he declared, adding that the majority of people in BiH do not want to live in “democratic feudalism.”
Silajdzic argued that Bosnia has for hundreds of years served as a “model of integrationist life” for all the groups living in it, saying that this is known as “the Bosnian Paradigm.”
“That has been taken away from us by brutal force, including genocide. So those who did it should not be rewarded again,” he said.
Silajdzic stressed that the main reason behind the aggression on BiH was “the ideology of Greater Serbia,” an effort to expand Serbian territory, and that this idea is nothing new.
This is why he said he was surprised by the “unsatisfactory” reaction of the Western political community when the war in Bosnia was ongoing.
“They allowed this to happen,” he said, explaining that the West did not believe that what happened in Bosnia would happen.
“Yes, it happened. And guess what – it’s going on right now,” he said, explaining that not all who fled their homes from the atrocities in Bosnia have returned.
He called this a big favour to the perpetrators and executioners of the genocide.