Former High Rep: Stopping Dodik is a matter of saving the peace in Bosnia

NEWS 02.11.2021 17:55
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Source: N1

BiH tripartite Presidency member Milorad Dodik is unaware of what effect his actions will have on history and stopping him is a matter of “saving peace” in Bosnia, which the international community falsely believed it was doing with its silence, the former High Representative in the country, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Schwarz-Schilling served as the international official overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement between 2006 and 2007.

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He spoke at a press conference organised by the Council of the Congress of Bosniak Intellectuals (VKBI), the Croat National Council (HNV), the Serb Civic Council (SGV) and the Forum of Parliamentarians 1990, where they posed a series of questions to the international community in light of the political crisis in Bosnia.

The conference comes as members of the UN Security Council (UN SC) are discussing whether the current High Representative in Bosnia, Christian Schmidt, will present his report on the situation in BiH at a UN SC session on Wednesday.

Russia never accepted Schmidt’s mandate, arguing that he was not appointed according to the rules.

Schwarz-Schilling said at the press conference that the international body that appointed Schmidt, the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), makes its decisions based on a majority vote, so the fact that some might disagree with his appointment does not mean it was against the rules.

He noted that Russia at some point started to disagree with some decisions in the PIC.

“It is a pity, for peace, for Dayton (Agreement) itself, that they do not agree on completely normal issues that mean a better life here,” he said.

Schwarz-Schilling argued that if Schmidt would not be allowed to present his report at the UN SC session, then he should report to the PIC.

“Democratic principles must apply there, not a veto to silence the High Representative. The EU must be clear that such a situation is not in line with human rights or the Charter that deals with it. The PIC should be urged to vote on the report and hand it over to the Security Council, and to ask that the High Representative be invited to explain his report,” he said.

Schwarz-Schilling stressed that he is certain that EU member countries would support Schmidt’s report.

“Then the UN Security Council should decide to give the High Representative a new date to present the report. If that does not happen, then we can say that it is an attack on the world democratic order, and the High Representative has other possibilities to react,” he said.

Schwarz-Schilling explained that the international community is always trying to resolve issues through negotiations and agreements in order to prevent what the local population is afraid of, and that is war.

“And that fear is justified,” the German politician said.

“Dodik is not even aware of what he is doing to history and how what he is doing will affect the course of history, this here is now an effort to save the peace. The international community is trying to save the peace with silence, but they are grossly mistaken,” he said.

“History has shown that this is not how it goes, if you open any door for a dictator he will just look for where he can get through and where he will go next, and I do not agree with such a policy,” he said.

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