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Investigation launched against Bosnian-Serb leader over secessionist statements

Prosecutors in Bosnia-Herzegovina have launched an investigation into Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik for undermining the constitutional order. The investigation was introduced after Dodik announced that the Republika Srpska will take measures that are aimed at withdrawing from key institution of the Bosnian state. The institutions that he intends to withdraw from are the military, the top judiciary body and the tax administration.

Dodik’s plans have led to political unrest in the country and have also worried the international community. On October 20 the EU Foreign-Policy chief and U.S. Secretary of State issues a shared statement which emphasized the support for the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and stated concerns about the divisive rhetoric in the country.

Moving towards secession from an ‘’imposed country’’

Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently divided into two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, that are linked by a central government. This current system was established with the Dayton Agreement that ended the civil war in 1995. The country has a tripartite presidency, consisting of a Bosniak, Serb and Croat member. Milorad Dodik is currently the Serb member of the presidency. Dodik has been increasingly critical of what he has called an ‘’impossible, imposed country’’ that is ‘’an experiment by the international community’’.

Throughout the years Dodik has repeatedly called for secession of the Bosnian Serb lands from the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The concrete plans regarding the withdrawal from key state institutions have created tensions within the country. For many citizens the current political developments raises fears of another war.  A police drill by the Serb police, held only a short distance from Sarajevo, only fueled these fears.  

On the 12th of October Dodik stated that ‘’we are openly working on the project of an independent Republika Srpska within the Dayton agreement’’. The plans to withdraw from important state institutions is seen as a step towards creating full autonomy for the Republika Srpska within Bosnia. Dodik also stated that Bosnian judiciary, security and intelligence agencies will not be allowed to operate in the Republika Srpska anymore. Instead, these institutions will be replaced by regional Bosnian-Serb institutions.


Sources: Al Jazeera Al Jazeera RadioFreeEurope RadioFreeEurope Reuters
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