Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik says if Bosnia and Herzegovina wants to move forward its politicians have to achieve an internal agreement and basic consensus on the State without the participation of foreigners.
“Had there been wisdom and responsibility, the Dayton Peace Agreement would have been implemented wholly instead of being changed with illegal ‘Bonn powers’ and meddling of foreigners. Such an approach would have definitely led to a much higher degree of understanding and inter-ethnic reconciliation in BiH.
This way, disagreements and conflicts are constantly created,” Dodik writes in an article penned for the Glas Srpske daily on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He notes that Republika Srpska and the Federation of BiH /FBiH/ could have achieved excellent cooperation by coordination and harmonisation of legislation, which would have benefited all.
“It wasn’t achieved thanks to a part of the international community which has been governing BiH irresponsibly for the third decade now. A divided society has been created. Things are getting worse and we are further away from the resolution of substantial issues – economic, social, and regional. BiH has been standing still and getting divided even more,” warns Dodik.
He recalls that Annexes to the Dayton Agreement are its key documents and Annex IV or the Constitution of BiH the basis for the country’s functioning as a community of states formed in Dayton, Ohio.
“No parliamentary ratification of the ‘internationally recognised Republic of BiH’ has been foreseen, which speaks of its previous paper existence in practice,” Dodik adds.
Unfortunately, he writes, the region is not outside the clash of big powers today either, so its stability does not depend on inter-ethnic relations or essential reconciliation alone.
“The country that emerged 22 years ago in Dayton can’t seem to get rid of its war stereotypes. The presence of several truths depending on the people will determine the relations and destiny of BiH for many years to come,” asserts Dodik.
He claims that having closed down, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, did not let the Balkan nations create their own history without any surplus and with hope in reconciliation after the Yugo-Balkan wars, nor did it provide any of its proclaimed goals – punishment for criminals, justice for victims or reconciliation among peoples.
Dodik reiterates that the BiH Constitutional Court operates illegally and unconstitutionally using the pattern of two Bosniaks and three foreigners outvoting two Serbs and two Croats, and says that two key decisions of the Court were made that way.
“The first was the so-called decision about the Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats as constituent peoples in the whole BiH, not in the Entities, as prescribed by the BiH Constitution, which regulates the election of a Serb member of the BiH Presidency in Republika Srpska, and a Bosniak and Croat member from the Federation of BiH, as well as the delegates to the House of Peoples of the State parliament. This decision was later used for numerous impositions of amendments on Entity constitutions and of unconstitutional laws,” recalls Dodik.
The second Constitutional Court decision about “constitutionality” of the decision imposing the Court and Prosecutor’s Office, which was made by the High Representative, dealt a blow to the judiciary, writes the president.
Under the BiH Constitution, there is only the BiH Constitutional Court as the single constitutional institution at the State level. All other judicial jurisdiction – legislative and court – belongs exclusively to the Entities. A system of irresponsibility has been created in which the Court and Prosecutor’s Office are legal caricatures and this prevents the people working there from conducting proceedings and delivering judgements with conviction and real, instead of fabricated evidence,” Dodik concludes.