Monday, November 22, 2010

Dodik Says Bosnia “Irreversibly Divided”

Nov 22, 2010

Bosnia-Herzegovina is a country ‘irreversibly divided’ along ethnic lines, Bosnian Serb President Milorad Dodik told a Serbian paper Monday, 15 years after a peace deal ended the country’s inter-ethnic war in the 1990s.

“Bosnia is divided in an irreversible way” and “[the international community] will eventually get tired and understand that they are trying to bring together something that cannot be brought together,” Dodik told the Vecernji Novosti daily.

“They cannot build a [united] Bosnia without taking into account Serbs and Croats. I am convinced that this project, after all these years, is failing.”

“Fifteen years since the Dayton [peace agreement] it is clear that this attempt has failed,” Dodik said.

The peace deal reached in Dayton, Ohio, Nov. 21, 1995, ended the 1992-1995 war between Bosnia’s Croats, Muslims and Serbs.

It left the former Yugoslav republic split into two semi-autonomous halves–the Serb-run Republika Srpska and the Muslim Croat Federation.

The two entities are linked by weak central institutions while each has its own government.

The international community, notably the European Union, wants Bosnia and Herzegovina’s central institutions to be strengthened in order to implement reforms needed for the country’s integration in Europe.

Dodik, a former powerful Bosnian Serb prime minister, is opposing any strengthening of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s joint institutions at the expense of his entity’s autonomy.

However, while being sworn as Bosnian Serb president earlier this month, Dodik softened his nationalist rhetoric and called for inter-ethnic dialogue and a “basic consensus,” with the country’s Croats and Serbs.

November 22, 2010

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