The Chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, said the recent statement by the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), which urged politicians to refrain from “politicising” the vaccine procurement issue, was “hypocritical” since representatives in this international body overseeing Bosnia’s peace come from countries which “took away our vaccines.”
The Ambassadors of the PIC Steering Board and the Board of Principals, who monitor the implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, called on Thursday for “resilience and unity” in the country light of the dramatic COVID-19 situation.
“We urge political actors to refrain from accusations and politicizing the issue of vaccines. As vaccines have started to arrive in-country, the support and advocacy of political authorities in the rollout and the uptake of available vaccines will be essential,” the statement said.
These “accusations” among BiH politicians are a result of a lack of vaccines against COVID-19 in the country. Only a small fraction of the vaccines BiH purchased through the COVAX mechanism have arrived so far, and officials at all government levels have been accusing each other of not doing enough to secure vaccines through other channels.
However, numerous BiH officials alleged that Bosnia was let down by COVAX as the reason the vaccines were not delivered timely is because of rich world powers blocking it by hoarding vaccines.
“The same ones who took away our vaccines are now telling us how to secure them, which is hypocritical considering that we have paid for the vaccines from the COVAX programme,” Dodik said, adding that he has not been paying attention to statements of the PIC for years, but that he “had to react” to the latest one.
He demanded that the vaccines BiH purchased through COVAX be delivered, adding that the country needs no help from the US or the EU.
“Don't give us hypocritical speeches. We have had enough of you and your recommendations, because thanks to you, we are stuck in this situation,” he said.