Bosnian Serbs boycott news of national genocide
The Serb representatives blocked all major Bosnia institutions because of the recent genocide ban imposed by the United Nations High Representative.
The Bosnian Serb representative announced a boycott of all the major institutions of the secession — in effect blocking them — angry at the UN representative’s decision to prohibit denial of genocide.
Austrian diplomat Valentin Inzko, the high representative of the United Nations in Bosnia, also has a number of administrative powers, Made a decision last week.
Inzko revised Bosnia’s criminal law to prohibit denial of genocide and war crimes in countries where Serbian leaders downplayed the Srebrenica genocide.
Although the senior representative can pass laws or cancel the seats of elected officials, he has rarely used his powers in the past. This latest decision angered Serb politicians.
Branislav Borenovic, one of the opposition leaders of the Bosnian Serb entity Republika Srpska, announced his boycott at a press conference on Monday.
“From tomorrow, Serb political representatives will no longer participate in the work of the common Bosnia and Herzegovina institutions and will not make any decisions until this issue is resolved,” he told reporters.
He added that the Serb representatives will boycott the Bosnian joint president, parliament and government-effectively preventing central institutions that rely on the approval of representatives of all three ethnic groups.
Following the Dayton Peace Agreement signed in December 1995, Bosnia was divided into two entities, namely the Serb-led Serb Republic and the Bosnian Croat-administered federal entity.
From 1992 to 1995, an international armed conflict broke out in Bosnia, killing approximately 100,000 people.
Inzko’s successor is controversial
The Srebrenica genocide occurred in July 1995, a few months before the end of the war, when the Serb army rounded up and killed more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys after occupying the town of Srebrenica.
Many decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) considered the massacre as genocide.
However, Serb leaders in Bosnia and Serbia generally deny that the Holocaust constitutes genocide, and instead call it a “major crime”.
The decision made by the diplomat only a week before the end of his term was immediately rejected by the Bosnian Serb leader.
Milorad Dodik, a Serb member of the co-chair of Bosnia, even threatened to “disintegrate” the Balkan country.
This dispute occurred at a particularly delicate moment, as Inzko, who had been in office for 12 years, was ready to hand it over to Christian Schmidt of Germany on August 1.
However, Russia and China are challenging Schmidt’s appointment to the United Nations.
“The senior representative who arrived has no legality,” Dodik told reporters on Monday.
Mirko Sarovic, chairman of Serbia’s main opposition party, SDS, said: “We will never accept any… decisions made by senior representatives.”
He added that the Bosnian Parliament is the only place for decision-making.