From this moment on, the responsibility for the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina is in the hands of the state prosecutor, the Croat member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, Zeljko Komsic, told N1 on Wednesday evening after the country’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity parliament made the first move on its path toward more autonomy.
“This is a coup attempt. I wouldn’t say that the RS is attempting to dissolve the state, he is drawing the RS institutions into this through the National Assembly of Republika Srpska,” Komsic said, referring to his Serb colleague and the leader of the ruling party in the semi-autonomous RS entity, Milorad Dodik.
“But it’s a fact that he is facing visible political resistance among the citizens in the RS,” he added.
The new law that establishes a parallel agency for medicines in Republika Srpska and declares the state-level agency not competent on the entity’s territory is seen as the first step toward more autonomy for the RS and a test for further takeovers of competencies from the state. Dodik has announced the formation of a separate army, judiciary and tax authority.
Wednesdays’ law, however, was passed in the entity’s parliament by a very narrow majority, Komsic noted.
“I don’t think it’s correct to identify Dodik with all people living in Republika Srpska because they definitely don’t all think the way he does,” he said. “They see a bit further and realize that this could be a fatal adventure for Dodik and his politics.”
Komsic stressed that Dodik does not have the power to dissolve Bosnia’s army, intelligence agency or state police, but that he is only “trying to provoke an incident, as violent as possible” so that he would have some justification for his actions.
“Any incident would be enough for him to serve as justification. His entire rhetoric is not that entrenched in the RS and RS policy,” he said.
Asked what would happen if Dodik would encircle the army barracks in Republika Srpska or deploy his own police at the line of division between the two entities, Komsic said that that this would be a criminal act just as the one committed with the new entity law.
“We will wait to see what the Prosecution Office will do, but we will react,” he said, adding that the Prosecution is functioning and so is the intelligence agency and the state police. Even if Dodik leaves the Presidency, it will still continue to exist, he said.
Dodik is testing the pulse with all of these moves but he and the people around him will not stop, Komsic said.
“From this moment on, the responsibility for everything that will happen in BiH lies in the hands of the Prosecutor's Office,” he stressed, adding that “the answer must go through the institutions of the system.”
If charges would be raised, “the state police can arrest anybody is this country if they receive the order,” he said.
Asked whether he is counting on a reaction from the international community, Komsic said that he is not unless the state does not react first.
“If we won’t fight for our country within the framework of the Constitution and the law, why should we expect that the foreigners will?” he asked.
Even if Dodik would form his own army, that does not mean that the existing Bosnian forces would disappear, he said.
“The army he would form would be a simple terrorist group,” Komsic added.
The Croat Presidency member said that in any case, there are plans for defending the state, but that he should not talk about it publicly.
“You know what they say, help yourself and God will also help you. The the international community would help. They wouldn't tolerate a forceful violation of the constitutional order,” Komsic said.