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Bosnia Herzegovinia Crisis


Valentin Inzko, EU High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, gestures as he addresses a news conference in Vienna (File Photo)

More than seven months after the general elections in Bosnia, there is still no prospect of a new state government being formed.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the countries that formed after the break-up of Yugoslavia, is facing its most serious crisis since the 1995 signing of the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in the Balkans.

Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two entities, the Republika Srpska and the Federation, and the Brcko District. They are linked by numerous central institutions.

Speaking at an open United Nations Security Council debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, reported that more than seven months after the general elections in Bosnia, there is still no prospect of a new state government being formed. In addition, the leadership of Republika Srpska plans to hold a referendum on the validity of the High Representative’s decisions and state judicial institutions, which are outside the competency of Republika Srpska. These actions are destabilizing to the overall situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and could paralyze the functioning of its state institutions.

"More than 15 years ago, the international community came together with Bosnia and Herzegovina's leaders to end a terrible conflict and forge a blueprint for the way forward," said U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Rosemary DiCarlo. "The hard work in Dayton, Ohio paved the way for the lasting peace from which Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to benefit. But today, the foundations of that historic agreement are being challenged, threatening to undercut many of the gains the country has achieved since Dayton.

"The recent conclusions adopted by the Republika Srpska National Assembly present a fundamental challenge to the Dayton Accords, and constitute the most serious of a disturbing pattern of actions by the Republika Srpska in violation of this agreement," said Ambassador DiCarlo. "These actions raise serious questions about the Republika Srpska's commitment to the rule of law and to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s path to membership in the EU," she said.

"The United States is fully committed to the Dayton Accords and fully supportive of the High Representative. We remain hopeful that the elected leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina will forge a consensus around defense, constitutional, and other reforms necessary to peace and stability — and, ultimately, for EU and NATO integration."

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