Bosnia's Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska (RS) is observing today the RS Day, which will be the second celebration after the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina said this holiday cannot be marked on January 9.
Acting at a request of nine MPs from the entity assembly in this part of BiH, the Constitutional Court decided in March 2019 that the law regulating the celebration of January 9 as the Day of Republika Srpska was unconstitutional.
The Bosniak and Croat MPs filed the motion arguing that marking the RS Day on January 9, which is also a Serb Orthodox religious holiday, violates the rights of non-Serbs living there.
But, the celebrations continued in the coming years, despite the court ruling and the warning of international institutions in Bosnia that the celebration on January 9 was unconstitutional.
The RS authorities announced ceremonies for this day including the delivery of recognitions for “deserving institutions and individuals,” while the Police orchestra will parade through the city of Banja Luka, the country's second-largest and administrative centre of the entity.
Serbia's Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin conveyed a message on this day, saying that “this was a holiday for all Serbs.”
“Peace is the greatest interest of Serb people and freedom their greatest value for which Serbs live,” he added.
Vulin also stressed that Serbia and Republika Srpska “have never been so close and united as now, owing to sincere and persistent efforts of (Serbian President) Aleksandar Vucic to improve and strengthen Republika Srpska.”
Bosnian Serbs celebrate January 9 because on that day in 1992 they declared the breakaway Serb state as founded. The so-called Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina covered about half of Bosnia's full territory.
It was later renamed Republika Srpska, which is under current Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina an integral part of the country.
Another semi-autonomous region, which makes 51% of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Bosniak-Croat shared Federation (FBiH) entity.