Bosnian Serbs Urge Talks on Country’s Potential ‘Disintegration’
After publishing videos on YouTube advocating the ‘peaceful break-up’ of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian Serb political leaders say they will launch an initiative to discuss the country’s future with Bosniaks and Croats.
Taking advantage of the tensions caused by a controversial document predicting the dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian Serb political leaders said on Tuesday that they want to formally discuss the future of the country with Croat and Bosniak politicians.
The announcement came after leaders of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity, Republika Srpska, met to discuss the issue at Villa Mrakovica in central Bosnia, which belonged to Josip Broz Tito, the former Yugoslav leader, before the war.
The meeting followed heightened tensions in the country over a controversial document that was allegedly sent by Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa to European Council President Charles Michel, which suggested redrawing the borders again in the former Yugoslavia.
The document reportedly suggests the unification of Kosovo and Albania, which it claims that Serbia would support if large parts of Republika Srpska are merged with Serbia. However, the existence of the document has not been confirmed by any EU institution or politician.
The party headed by Republika Srpska’s leading politician, Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of the tripartite Bosnian presidency, has published videos on YouTube in recent days advocating the ‘peaceful break-up’ of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In the videos published by the Alliance of the Independent Social Democrats, Dodik and others say that “an independent Republika Srpska has today become a solution that is increasingly talked about around the world”, and that “peaceful separation is the only solution for this Bosnia”.
After Tuesday’s meeting, Dodik said that Republika Srpska is planning to form a negotiating team to initiate talks with the other Bosnian entity, the Bosniak- and Croat-dominated Federation and the other two major ethnic communities, Bosniaks and Croats, about the country’s future.
“That is our response to those from who call for war. If they want to prevent a situation that is heading towards the disintegration of Bosnia, they should respect our views,” Dodik told a press conference after the meeting.
Dodik was referring to a statement by Bakir Izetbegovic, leader of the largest Bosniak political party, the Party of Democratic Action, who told Bosnian media on Tuesday that he was “not sure that there would be no war”.
“If he wants to prevent the situation in Bosnia from falling apart, then he should avoid that kind of language,” Dodik said.
Political analysts however said that the Alliance of the Independent Social Democrats’ initiative is just another attempt by the ruling political party to divert attention from key issues that they cannot resolve, such as the lack of coronavirus vaccines.
“Stories like this are always an excuse they use as an election trump card,” Banja Luka-based political analyst Tanja Topic told BIRN.