Friday, January 28, 2022

Bosnian leader supports Serb leader’s condition to end boycott

Bosnian leader Bakir İzetbegovi expressed support Thursday for Serb leader Milorad Dodik's condition to end a boycott by Serbian lawmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s state institutions.

Dodik earlier in the day proposed to enact a law that would prevent the abuse of the Genocide Denial Law.

“I propose to enact a special law so that Serbian politicians stop boycotting state institutions. With this special law, abuse of the Genocide Denial Law, which was approved by the former High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, can be prevented," he said after participating in election reform negotiations in the capital Sarajevo mediated by US and European Union special representatives.

Izetbegovic, chairman of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), said all Serbs were never declared committers of genocide.

"This is a good thing, we support this proposal. We have never declared a people -- for example, all Serbs -- to be committers of genocide. We accepted the Republika Srpska Entity in 1995 with the Dayton Peace Agreement. However, this does not change the fact that genocide took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We know that the military and political structure that founded the Republika Srpska was involved in this genocide," said Izetbegovic.

The dispute erupted after Inzko, then the high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, amended the criminal code last July to ban the denial of genocide and the glorification of war criminals.

Bosnian Serb lawmakers said in response that they would boycott the country's institutions.

Dodik, the Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, denounced the amendments and pushed for controversial separatist moves in the Republika Srpska parliament.

The steps have been criticized internationally for violating the 1995 Dayton Accords and undermining the country's constitution.​​​​​​​

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