BiH House of Reps Speaker calls for response to “secessionist threats” in BiH

NEWS 07.12.2021 14:18
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Source: PSBIH

Speaking at the 20th Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum, Speaker of Bosnia’s House of Representatives, Denis Zvizdic, called on the United States and the EU to respond to “secessionist threats” coming from Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, arguing that it would not be in anybody’s interest for a new conflict to emerge in the region.

Zvizdic spoke at the Forum amid a major political crisis in BiH over announcements by BiH tripartite Presidency member Milorad Dodik that the RS entity will withdraw from numerous state institutions and form its own, including the army.

“In BiH, people of different faiths and national affiliations live together, building a society of equal peoples and citizens based on solidarity and mutual respect. Multiethnicity is true in BiH. It is this – the greatest value of my homeland – and that is living together with each other, building a state in which different cultures, religions and policies can be together and represent wealth in diversity – that has often been attacked in the long history of BiH. Most severely and with the greatest consequences, in the period between 1992 and 1995, with special reference to the genocide in Srebrenica,” Zvizdic said.

He explained that the “bloody aggression on the internationally recognized state of Bosnia and Herzegovina” ended with the Dayton Peace Agreement, which brought peace and stability and therefore represents the greatest diplomatic success of the international community in Europe since the end of the Cold War.

“Unfortunately, the Dayton Peace Agreement and its key annexe, the BiH Constitution, are these days seriously threatened by the blockade of BiH institutions and the continuous secessionist threats coming from officials from Bosnia’s entity Republika Srpska. The work of the Presidency of BiH, the Government of BiH and the Parliament of BiH has been blocked. Activities are being carried out to suspend state laws, and entity institutions are being proclaimed state institutions,” he said.

Zvizdic pointed out that the RS is trying to suspend the state Armed Forces and establish its own, which is also the case for the state intelligence agency, state court and prosecutor’s office, arguing that this is “the beginning of the destruction of the constitutional and legal system of the state of BiH.”

“Imagine if in your country a region, canton or province decides to form its own army, its own intelligence service, to issue its own passports and so on. Of course, this is unthinkable in any democratic state, and that is exactly what is happening in BiH,” he said, arguing that allowing the dissolution of BiH and the collapse of the system established in the 1995 peace agreement would “open Pandora’s box” in the entire Balkan region, as well as Europe.

“Because no ‘peaceful dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina’ is possible – everyone who is seriously dealing with the issue of BiH and the Western Balkans knows that,” he said.

Zvizdic stressed the importance of the international community understanding the situation in BiH and stressed that peace in the country also means peace in the Western Balkans and Europe.

“It’s in nobody’s interest to have instability on their borders, and the border between BiH and the European Union, for example, is 1,000 kilometres long,” he argued, adding that the complete domestic and international law is on the side of the state of BiH and preserving its territorial integrity, sovereignty, political independence and international subjectivity.

“It is necessary to protect the Dayton Agreement and the Constitution of BiH, not in the short term and ad hoc, but it is necessary to act preventively and in the long term. It is necessary to recognize evil in time and to oppose it – not with compromise, but with clear and decisive resistance. In the RS entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the rule and adventurism of only one politician are currently on the scene instead of democracy and the rule of law,” he said, referring to Dodik.

Zvizdic concluded his speech by saying that “the vast majority of citizens in BiH want to live in peace and security and want to see BiH as a member of the EU and NATO in the near future.”

“I hope that the United States, together with its partners from the EU, will once again be the leader of all positive processes in BiH and our region,” he said.

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