Independence Day Crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina
This day is considered as one of the most important days in the country’s modern history. On this date in 1992, 64% of BiH citizens answered “yes” on the referendum question “Do you want Bosnia to be an independent state of all its citizens and equal nations?’Unfortunately, even after twenty-nine years, Independence Day is celebrated only in the Federation of BiH, while in Republika Srpska, March 1st is just a regular day.
Independence Day Crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina- A Member of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sefik Dzaferovic said that March 1 is one of the most important dates in the overall history of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bosniak and Croat members of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic laid wreaths at the Eternal Flame Memorial, the Monument to the Killed Children of Sarajevo and the Kovaci cemetery on Monday, on the occasion of March 1, Bosnia’s Independence Day.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina was defended from the aggression and today we are building it in peace. The forces that attacked BiH in 1992, unfortunately, exist today both in BiH and its surrounding. This is a chance to tell them to leave it alone, to finally come to realise they will never succeed in their intentions. BiH will always be an independent, autonomous state with all its peoples who will shape it and organise it the way they think they should be,” said Dzaferovic.
Attending the solemn session of the Ilijaš Municipal Council on the occasion of the day of that municipality and the Independence Day of BiH in Ilijas, Dzaferovic said that on that date in 1992, after centuries of being part of other empires, BiH became an internationally recognized and independent state.
“This is an achievement that is rarely made in history, and it was achieved by a generation led by the first president of the Presidency of independent BiH, Alija Izetbegovic,” he pointed out.
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He added that it was a turbulent time when great-power ideologies were on the rise and in the worst way intended to destroy and divide BiH.
He stated that those ideologies did not succeed then and that they will never succeed thanks to BiH patriots who had the strength to organize a referendum in which nearly two-thirds of the citizens voted for independence.
He reminded that the aggression started then, but that Bosnia and Herzegovina were defended and continued to function in peace.
“I use this opportunity to congratulate all the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Independence Day,” said Dzaferovic.
But The Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the leader of the SNSD, Milorad Dodik, stated that March 1st, the Independence Day of BiH, “will not be celebrated and that it will not be considered a holiday in Republika Srpska (RS)”, the BiH entity.
“The Constitutional Court decides only what is in the interest of Sarajevo and Bosniaks, and nothing that has the interest for Serbian positions. It is even worse for us than it was during the Ottoman rule which lasted for 500 years”, said Dodik in Banja Luka.
He noted that the Constitutional Court of BiH can decide on that as many times as it wants, but he will not implement it.
“Let them send prosecutors to me,” said Dodik. He also said BiH was “hostile and abnormal”.
“RS was defined on January 9th with the intention of being independent. Autonomy is the legitimate position of our people. We are celebrating is January 9th as the Day of the Republic, and you cannot change that fact, ” Dodik told.
BiH will celebrate tomorrow (on March 1st) the 29th anniversary of a referendum where nearly two-thirds majority decided they want to live in an independent state. Citizens voted with responding to this question: “Are you in favor of a sovereign and independent BiH, a state of equal citizens, the people of BiH – Bosniaks, Serbs, Croats, and members of other nations living in it?”
The referendum was attended by 2.073.568 voters, which represented a turnout of 63.6 percent, and almost everyone who went to the referendum voted for independence, while only 0.3 percent or 6.037 people voted against it.
The results of the referendum lead to the international recognition of BiH, as an independent state. Since then, March 1st has been celebrated as the Independence Day of BiH.