Bosnian residents are leaving the country not only because they are having difficulty finding a job, but because of lack of justice, former High Representative in BiH Valentin inzko said in an interview with the Slovenian daily Delo on Saturday.
“Unfortunately, the international community often delays and relativises the statements of politicians or condemns them only in a general manner, for example by claiming that everyone is doing it. That they are all the same. Above all, the domestic prosecution is completely powerless. Even when there is video evidence, the prosecution does nothing. It can't go on like this. People are leaving the country, not only because they don’t have a job, a job can be found, but also because there is no prosecutor's office and judiciary – because there is no justice,” Inzko said.
He was then asked to comment on the situation with the Republika Srpska (RS) entity and the BiH Serb Presidency member who announced a set of measures that would abolish state laws or make them void in this entity, and the entity’s withdrawal from a number of major state institutions such as the Armed Forces, state-level judiciary and the taxation authority.
Inzko told Delo that he feels sorry that the RS is not like Bavaria within the state of BiH. Successful and rich.
“It has all the possibilities and natural riches because it is bigger than Slovenia and Israel. What a pity! Dodik was really enabled to take over power by Western countries, led by the United States because he had only two deputies in the [entity] parliament in Banja Luka. The then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright even spoke of “a breath of fresh air” [when speaking about him]. In short, Dodik was a favourite of the international community. He said the right things. That genocide took place, that Fradovan] Karadzic should be extradited to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and that the RS is not a state,” Inzko noted.
In the meantime, he said, Karadzic became his hero, the Srebrenica genocide did not happen anymore and things like that. The criminalization of war crimes denial is an achievement of civilised peoples, he said, hinting at his imposition of amendments to the state Criminal Code, banning the denial of genocide and glorification of war crimes and war criminals. This, in turn, caused fierce opposition from the RS who said such a law is an attack on the freedom of speech.
In his opinion, Dodik and some other politicians take the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, and the BiH Constitution as an a la carte menu, from which you choose only what they like. For example, the RS Assembly passed a conclusion that the RS government would work on re-establishing the RS Army, Inzko said, asking his interlocutor from the Delo to imagine any country in the world with two armies.
On the other hand, he said, they do not recognize by the BiH Constitutional Court or, only accept the Court’s favourable decisions.
Asked to comment on the situation with the incumbent High Representative Christian Schmidt, Inzko said:
“Christian Schmidt was elected unanimously by the Peace Implementation Council, except for Russia. It is true that he doesn’t have the blessing from the United Nations Security Council, even though it has happened once before. German Christian Schwarz-Schilling, one of the former high representatives, did not have a UN Security Council decision. The fact is that Dodik wants to interpret the Dayton himself, so he does not recognize Schmidt. According to the Dayton Agreement, Schmidt is the only interpreter of the Dayton. Not Dodik!”
“I was confirmed by the UN Security Council in March 2009, but that didn’t stop Dodik from attacking me in the most brutal way, even with completely fabricated claims. In July 2021, he claimed I have received two million euros for a law banning genocide denial,” Inzko recalled.
Speaking about the BiH Election Law reform and the objections by Dragan Covic, the leader of the strongest Bosnian Croat party – Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH), Inzko noted that the same law applied when Covic was elected BiH’s Croat Presidency member, before being defeated by Zeljko Komsic from the Democratic Front.
“Dragan Covic in the past and the current member of the Presidency Zeljko Komsic were elected on the basis of the same Election Law and the same Constitution. The Constitution states that one Croat must sit in the state Presidency. Komsic is a Croat, but there are frustrations with the majority Croat HDZ party, as their main candidate, Mr Covic, has not been elected. And because of that, the HDZ assumes that Komsic was mostly elected by Bosniaks,” the former High Representative told the Slovenian daily Delo, among other things.