Bosnian Presidency member Milorad Dodik said on Sunday the only way to avoid the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina from escalating was to pull a law banning the denial of war crimes, but NATO warned that BiH's integrity must be respected.
In a statement carried by media in the Bosnian Serb entity, Dodik asked the international community to void a decision by High Representative Valentin Inzko which allows for punishing with up to five years in prison anyone denying proven war crimes, including the Srebrenica genocide, and glorifying the perpetrators.
After Inzko's decision was published on Friday, Dodik said he would not honour it, claiming there was no genocide in Srebrenica and threatening that the Serb entity, Republika Srpska, would take steps to separate from BiH.
Today he said the only way to prevent that was to annul Inzko's decision. “Otherwise Republika Srpska will have no choice, so no one should be surprised later by the steps we will take.”
On Saturday, he organised a petition whereby all Bosnian Serbs would say that they rejected Inzko's decision.
The Serb entity parliament speaker, Nedjeljko Cubrilovic, convened for Monday a meeting of representatives of all parliamentary parties to agree on the next steps.
But the leaders of the most important opposition parties in the entity have indicated that they will not participate in any actions Dodik decides to take, claiming it is one of his political games to strengthen his absolutist authority.
Dodik has announced that Republika Srpska will react and that he plans to stay in the state leadership to prevent any decision on a possible intervention by the BiH military.
NATO said today it resolutely supported BiH's territorial integrity and requested that historical facts, such as that genocide was committed in Srebrenica, be honoured
NATO allies have clearly underlined that they support the territorial integrity of BiH and demanded a number of times that political leaders avoid the rhetoric of division, the alliance said after Dodik's latest statements.
The Srebrenica genocide was one of the worst crimes in Europe after WWII and in order for reconciliation in BiH to continue, the road forward must include the acknowledgement of the suffering that happened, NATO added.
NATO ended its peace stabilisation mission in BiH in 2004, leaving EU peace forces the task of overseeing the Dayton peace accord's military part, with the agreement that it will be able to act in BiH if necessary via the 2002 Berlin Plus mechanism.