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There has been a strategy for two decades now trying to do everything, both vertically and horizontally, to make sure there are no Serbs in the Federation of BiH at all,” warns Slavisa Mihajlovic, Serb delegate in the FBiH House of Peoples
By Boris Nogo
Slavisa Mihajlovic, a Serb delegate in the House of Peoples of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, warns that the Serbs in the Federation live dangerously close to the poverty line and that their rights are not respected at all.
In an interview with Srna, he warns that institutions in the Federation have so far failed to help the Serbs, who are on the margins of society.
“I am certain that this is the continuation of ethnic cleansing only in peacetime. It seems that the Serbs in the Federation are divided into the acceptable and unacceptable, just like during the armed conflict, which has to be stopped,” Mihajlovic said emphatically.
He says that after the visit of the Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to the Federation of BiH, leaders of the Bosniak and Croat peoples, Bakir Izetbegovic and Dragan Covic should help in resolving those issues.
“Vucic repeated in Mostar that he advocated stability, peace and economic progress of the Western Balkan countries.
“He definitely wishes good to all the peoples in these parts and that’s why I expect the Bosniak and Croat representatives to support his efforts in establishing good relations and helping the Serbs,” said Mihajlovic.
According to him, the upcoming period is crucial for the survival of the Serbs in the Federation of BiH.
“Good relations between all the three peoples in BiH have to be established. Now that Vucic has visited Mostar, I expect a donors’ conference to be held for the returnee municipalities of Drvar, Glamoc and Bosansko Grahovo, where the Serbs are the majority,” said Mihajlovic.
The constitutionality of peoples was not respected in the distribution of six key positions in the FBiH.
“That is another example of how our people are marginalised. There are no Serb representatives or there are very few in public enterprises, ministries and other institutions,” noted Mihajlovic.
The rights of the Serbs in the Federation “are diminished and taken away in all aspects of society,” he said.
“We cannot get a job, subsidies or assistance from any level of government. There are no legitimate representatives in the Federation Government or the majority of cantonal governments either.
“There has been a strategy for two decades now trying to do everything, both vertically and horizontally, to make sure there are no Serbs there at all,” Mihajlovic told Srna.
The Serb Caucus in the FBiH House of Peoples used the mechanism for the protection of vital national interests only once in the past 20 years, and the Federation’s Constitutional Court rejected the request.
Mihajlovic recalls that the majority of the Serb delegates have so far been members of the Social Democratic Party of BiH.
He believes it would be good to form a return fund in Drvar, Glamoc and Bosansko Grahovo, the municipalities where the Serbs are the majority, in order to make the return process sustainable and improve the quality of living for the returnees.
Mihajlovic notes that someone has to protect the Serb people in the Federation and help them overcome their problems.
“I also expect from the institutions of Republika Srpska to respond adequately to all those who belittle the Serbs in the Federation and take away their constitutional and all other human rights,” Mihajlovic told Srna.