One of the two entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik continues to draw reactions with his frequently repeated separatist rhetoric.
Stating that he would separate the RS from Bosnia and Herzegovina with the repeal of the “immovable property law”, which caused controversy in the country, by the Constitutional Court, Dodik continued his separatist statements by denying the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
While defending that the RS is a “state” in every event he has been in in recent days, Dodik has also caused the people living in Bosnia and Herzegovina to be uneasy with his separatist rhetoric.
Claiming that the USA and England interfered in the internal affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina and acted against the Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the 1992-1995 war, Dodik also ended the cooperation with the embassies of the USA and England in Sarajevo.
Dodik has been making hate speech for years
Dodik was elected President of the RS in the general election held in Bosnia and Herzegovina on October 2, 2022, ending his previous duty as a member of the Presidential Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Dodik, who has been following an “aggressive” policy since his first day as President of the RS, also ensured that a law on the ownership of immovable properties was passed in the RS National Assembly (NSRS).
When the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina announced that it would repeal the law in question, Dodik said that he would separate the RS from Bosnia and Herzegovina, “I am trying to persuade the Croats to withdraw from the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.” he expanded.
The local media claimed that Dodik’s “nervousness and tension”, which he could not hide in the last days, was due to the judicial process prepared against him.
Dodik, who denied the genocide in Srebrenica at every opportunity, insulted the relatives of the victims and made statements against the USA, is one of the leading politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina who use hate speech.
Bosniak, Croat and Serbian politicians react to Dodik’s “independence” statement
A written statement from the Democratic Action Party (SDA), the largest Bosniak party, headed by Bakir Izetbegovic, said: “Milorad Dodik’s latest threats to the independence of the RS and the allegations that he has ready decisions for this action, the Judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the international community It means the last alarm for him.” statements were included.
In the statement, it was also noted that Dodik’s denial of the genocide and his declaration of independence were “an example of the separatist policy of the RS officials,” and that such actions caused the Bosniaks living in RS to be deprived of their rights.
Zeljko Komsic, Croatian member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidential Council, also stated that Dodik’s statements are unacceptable and added: “It is dangerous to hope that foreigners will stop these actions.” he said.
Vojin Mijatovic, a Serbian politician from the RS Social Democratic Party, said, “Unfortunately, citizens who have been supporting such policies for years will pay the price for everything. The high price of Milorad Dodik’s policy for years is largely paid by the Serbian people.” made its assessment.
On the other hand, in a post on the Twitter account of the Office of the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina (OHR), High Representative Christian Schmidt underlined that glorifying war criminals and denial of genocide has no place in a civilized society. Only an honest, correct and responsible approach to past events, can guarantee a future of mutual understanding and common prosperity for all.” statements were included.
The post also noted that denial of the Srebrenica genocide constitutes a crime under the Penal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina and said, “All these cases should be duly investigated and processed by the relevant authorities.” it was said.
The immovable property problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Arguing that the immovable properties belong to the entities according to the Dayton Peace Treaty, which ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992-1995, RS claims that they also have the administration of the properties with the said law.
While the issue of immovable property has been a topic that has been discussed since the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is discussed whether the immovable properties in the country belong to the state or the entities using them.
While the unconstitutional law on immovable properties, which was voted in the RS National Assembly (NSRS) in December 2022, is expected to enter into force on 28 February, High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina Christian Schmidt has not announced that he is suspending the controversial law.
The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina also repealed the controversial law on the acquisition of immovable property in the RS on 2 March.
Previously, the Constitutional Court had ruled that the management authority of public properties belongs to the entity, and the property right belongs to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
What happened in Srebrenica?
During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-95), after the occupation of Srebrenica, where the genocide took place, by the Serbian troops under the command of Ratko Mladic on July 11, 1995, the civilian Bosniaks who took refuge with the Dutch soldiers under the command of the UN were handed over to the Serbs by these soldiers.
Allowing women and children to go to the area controlled by Bosniak soldiers, Serbian forces massacred at least 8,372 Bosniak men in forested areas, factories and warehouses. The murdered Bosnians were buried in mass graves.
After the war, the victims whose bones were found in the mass graves in the efforts to find the missing, are buried with a ceremony held at the Potocari Memorial Cemetery on July 11 every year after identification.