According to BiH tripartite Presidency member Milorad Dodik, it became clear after the UN Security Council session on Wednesday that “Bosnia and Herzegovina does not have a High Representative” and that, if the UN resolution does not recognise Christian Schmidt’s authority, neither should Bosnia.
The UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted a Resolution extending EUFOR's mandate on Wednesday, but without mentioning the Office of the High Representative, the international official overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement.
German politician Christian Schmidt took over the post in August, but Russia and China, as well as Bosnia’s semi-autonomous Republika Srpska (RS) entity, never accepted his mandate.
“What we learned yesterday and what should be clear to everyone is that BiH does not have a High Representative and that this person is self-proclaimed,” Dodik said, referring to Schmidt, who he said has no basis for his authority other than “the will of several countries.”
Dodik said that, as of Wednesday, any action by Schmidt in the country will serve as grounds for Republika Srpska to “sue him for misrepresentation and violation of international law.”
“If he is not recognized in the international resolution, then he cannot be recognized here either. It amazes me that he could have allowed himself such an embarrassment,” Dodik said.
He called on Schmidt to “start putting together an exit strategy and return to a peaceful life.”
“The High Representative has no mandate, nor does the OHR (Office of the High Representative). This is an important message that we received from the UN Security Council, and that is how we read it,” Dodik said.
“It seems to me that the big powers have agreed on eliminating the High Representative. How could anybody claim that he exists if that is not confirmed in the Security Council?” he added.
Although Schmidt did not present his report on Bosnia at the session on Wednesday, his office sent it to the UNSC.
According to media reports, Schmidt warned in the document that there is a “very real” prospect of a return to conflict in the country.
Dodik called the report “shameful” and argued that it was put together by Bosnia’s secret service.
“We remain committed to the constitutional order of BiH, which is composed of two entities and three sovereign peoples. RS also insists that others in BiH respect the Dayton Accords and its Annex 4 as written without any free interpretations that brought BiH to a standstill,” Dodik stressed.
“RS is committed to preserving peace, stability and the constitutional order. Our call is a call to strengthen constitutional patriotism, which should prolong the life of BiH, which is composed of two entities and three sovereign peoples,” he added.
He went on to argue that the laws either imposed or passed in BiH “based on the actions” of High Representatives in Bosnia are not legal.
“In an effort to make BiH more stable and successful, RS is trying to correct the abuses from the past with our activities, because the hope that someone will do it in Sarajevo or someone in the international community has been lost,” he said, referring to his initiative to transfer numerous competencies from the state to the RS entity level.
“Those who accuse RS of destabilization or talk about us making aggressive moves are just trying to create an atmosphere in which they will preserve the privileges achieved by stealing, they are trying to preserve regulations at the BiH level that are not constitutional and therefore constantly blame us for some kind of destabilization of BiH, while this is exactly what they are doing,” he added.