Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Security Minister Dragan Mektic called on prosecutors to question two high-profile commentators who predicted that war would break out again in the country.
Igor Spaic BIRN Sarajevo
Mektic said on Wednesday that the state prosecution should question political analyst Dzevad Galijasevic and former Bosnian Army general Atif Dudakovic, who he accused of being responsible for “warmongering rhetoric” about a possible new conflict in the country.
“I call on the prosecutors to summon these individuals for questioning or to order the state police to question them so we can find out who is starting this war, when exactly it will start, and who is doing the attacking,” Mektic told a press conference.
In recent statements to media, Galijasevic predicted that a war will break out in the spring.
Galijasevic reportedly accused the Bosniak member of the country’s tripartite presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, of preparing intelligence operations intended to create a “suitable climate” for an attack on Republika Srpska, the country’s Serb-dominated political entity.
Speaking at a gathering of Bosniaks in Luxembourg earlier this week and referring to currently heightened tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, former general Dudakovic called on all Bosniaks aged over 17 to buy uniforms, boots, backpacks and sleeping bags.
Mektic said the two men’s statements represented an “assault on peace”.
“No! There will be no war,” he declared.
“I call upon all normal people to dismiss this rhetoric,” he added.
The statements made by Galijasevic and Dudakovic came after a dispute over the unsanctioned presence of Bosnian Army troops at the Day of Republika Srpska celebrations on January 9, which were held despite being banned by the state-level Constitutional Court.
The defence ministry is now investigating the Serb soldiers’ involvement in the event, which they attended in defiance of Defence Ministry orders.
The celebrations were seen by Bosniak politicians as an attempt to undermine state institutions by Republika Srpska’s President Milorad Dodik, who has repeatedly threatened secession from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Military and political analyst Djuro Kozar told BIRN however that a new war was very unlikely.
“Maybe tensions, maybe some kinds of low-intensity conflicts and provocations, but not war,” Kozar said.
He argued that people were sick of armed conflict because of the 1990s war, but said he was concerned about the possibility of ongoing disputes between neighbouring Croatia and Serbia affecting the country’s security situation.
“I am only afraid of some of these ‘sparks’ spilling over into Bosnia and Herzegovina, but not in the form of a war. Rather, in the form of a so-called low-intensity conflict that might influence the security situation in the country,” he said.