No processes are being carried out towards the secession of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity from the country but if talks between BiH’s three constituent peoples and two entities continue failing repeatedly, talking about a “peaceful break-up” is the next logical step, Bosnia’s Presidency Chairman, Milorad Dodik, said on Tuesday.
Dodik, who is also the leader of the ruling party in the RS entity, spoke at a session of the RS National Assembly where the ‘Initiative for talks and dialogue between Republika Srpska and the Federation of BiH, as well as the three constituent peoples, Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks, on possible solutions for BiH’ was discussed.
“No operative process of secession is being carried out in the RS as many want to portray it. We are not taking any steps regarding secession, we are not taking any steps that would endanger the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said at the session, adding “we want to talk.”
“We believe that if all talks are failing, as they have so far, then it is quite logical to talk about what should happen next. It is more honourable, more moral, more humane, patriotic to call for a peaceful break-up if we cannot live together so closely,” Dodik said, adding that this is a better option than “any conflict or war.”
He noted that the RS National Assembly is the highest political body in the entity and that it is important that it has a united stance on important issues.
Dodik argued that there has been a lot of “trickery” in the implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement and that the “international legal order has been further overthrown and collapsed.”
“Sometimes it is very depressing to refer to international norms and agreements such as the Dayton Agreement,” he said.
According to Dodik, the United States has decided to support Bosniaks “who politically tried to flatter them with a narrative of a civic system in the state.”
The Presidency Chairman also spoke about his meetings with representatives of EU countries.
“I heard from several of them that we will never be part of the EU until we reject (the concept of) constituent peoples in BiH,” he said, referring to the power-sharing system between the three major peoples in the country – Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.
This, he argued, is “some kind of trickery which we are slowly getting into,” adding that the 14 key priorities the European Commission defined for Bosnia’s efforts to achieve EU candidate status “were not harmless.”
He complained that it is not in the interest of the RS to give legitimacy to a High judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC, Bosnia’s top judicial institution) that is imposed by Bosnia's international administrator overseeing the civilian implementation of the Dayton Agreement, the High Representative.
The Initiative which is being discussed was proposed by Dodik’s Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) and includes several conclusions.
“The RS National Assembly is concluding that since the signing of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in BiH there has been inadmissible rewriting and violations of the agreement, especially Annex 4, the BiH Constitution,” one of the proposed conclusions says.
“The RS National Assembly emphasizes that BiH consists of two entities, the Republika Srpska and the Federation of BiH, as well as three constituent peoples, Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks. The RS National Assembly accepts only the entities and constituent peoples of BiH as the bearer of sovereignty,” another one says.
N1 published the SNSD's initiative before and one part of it which mentions the right of the Serb people to self-determination was meanwhile cut from the document.