Fmr High Representative: BiH entities exist only on basis of Dayton Agreement

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The legal experts who prepared the initiative for Bosnia's Republika Srpska entity to sue the international community's High Representative for allegedly breaking international law have made legal nonsense, Austrian diplomat and former High Representative in the country Wolfgang Petritsch told N1 Thursday, commenting the recent RS parliament conclusions.

The legal experts from Bosnia's Serb-dominated RS entity should have contacted the author of the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and which also contains the BiH Constitution, Jim O'Brein to legally interpret their initiative, the former High Representative to BiH said.

“These legal experts want to self-destruct the Republika Srpska entity because the RS only exists and has an international basis due to the Dayton Agreement. One segment of the Dayton Accords, an integral part of the Dayton Accords, is the High Representative and his powers. When you falsify this truth, then you will realize that this is actually a bomb that will explode in Banja Luka and that it has the potential to destroy the RS. Do Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina really want that?” Petrisch asked.

The RS National Assembly held a Special Session Wednesday with only one item of discussion – the work of the High Representative whose mandate is to oversee the implementation of the civilian aspect of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Following a fierce discussion, the Assembly adopted several conclusions questioning the authority of the High Representative, to strong international condemnation from all major western embassies and international institutions in the country.

One of the conclusions says: “The RS National Assembly instructs the RS Government to form an international legal team with the aim of filing lawsuits against high representatives who violated international law by violating the Dayton Agreement and its Annex 10, thus abusing their mandate.”

The RS National Assembly also adopted a conclusion saying it is time for BiH with its two entities and three constituent peoples to take responsibility for its own development in accordance with the Dayton Agreement and international law, and if this is not on the agenda soon, talks on peaceful separation should be launched, one of the conclusions states.
Speaking about the new High Representative in the country, Petrisch noted that this is not the time it was some 25 years ago.

The Balkans is now in a different, geopolitical situation. There are the Russians, the Chinese, the Gulf countries, there is also the neo-Ottoman Turkey, the former High Representative said, adding that the appointment of the new High Representative cannot be a “job as usual.”

However, he stressed that, in his opinion, nationalist politicians have demonstrated for the past 25 years that they are unable to find better solutions for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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