Working Group for BiH warns Blinken of US Balkans Envoy's detrimental actions

NEWS 19.04.2022 12:54
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Source: N1

The members of the Working Group for Bosnia and Herzegovina sent an open letter to US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in response to a recent statement by US Special Envoy Escobar when he insisted that substantive or significant reform in the Constitution or the Election Law could only take place after Bosnia becomes a member of the EU.

The Group protested these statements as Mr Escobar insisted Bosnia would be forced to remain “three constituent peoples” and “two entities” which appeases nationalist parties and, according to the Group, condemns “Bosnia’s citizens to a future of ethnic divisions, discrimination, persecution, and human rights violations.”

According to them, Mr Escobar seemed completely unaware of the European Court of Human Right rulings, whether the Sejdic – Finci case in 2009, or the Zornic case in 2014. And he seemed unaware that the European Commission insisted that “Significant… reforms are… needed to ensure that all citizens can effectively exercise their political rights, in compliance with the Sejdic-Finci case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).”

The group recalled that tn the Zornic case already in 2014, the ruling asserted that “the time has come” for reform of the political system in order to end discrimination based on ethnic affiliation.

In their letter, the Working Group for BiH urges Secretary of State Blinken to support the broad-based coalition of Bosnia's citizens – including civic organizations, academics, and prominent associations in the diaspora– who are working for constitutional and electoral reform.

The letter also warned of the continuous destabilising actions of representatives of the BiH Republika Srpska entity authorities, especially recalling the recent vote on the decision to establish its own judiciary and army.

“Protected by the Dayton structure, discrimination has become the norm in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is why corruption is so widespread. These threats of nationalists should be a priority in the US foreign policy in BiH and they should be prevented by fundamental changes to the Constitution as ordered in the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights,” the letter states.

the Working Group for BiH consists of prominent Bosnians and Americans lobbying for Bosnia's progress, strengthening of state institutions and EU accession.

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