Eastern Europe

Bosnian Serbs to leave central government institution

15:31, 12 December 2021
Bosnian Serbs to leave central government institution

Members of the People's Assembly (Parliament) of the Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina voted to secede from the Bosnian armed forces, judicial, and tax system on December 11.

"This is the moment of winning freedom for the Republika Srpska," Milorad Dodik, leader of the ruling coalition of Bosnian Serbs, said.

This statement is not yet legally binding, because the secession must be approved by the upper house of the parliament of the Republika Srpska (the House of Peoples). However, it could lead to a government crisis without a common approach.  

The embassies of the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as the European Union delegation, in a joint statement, called the assembly's proposal a further step towards escalation.

The MPs have authorized the regional government in the next six months to develop new laws for the army, tax, and judicial systems to replace the existing acts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As a result of the Dayton Agreement, which ended the 1992-1995 civil war, the former Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina retained its territorial integrity but it was divided into two autonomous regions - the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is dominated by Bosnian and Croatian populations.

Dodik, who is currently a Serbian member of the tripartite interethnic presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina, wants to reverse all post-war reforms and return to the 1995 constitution, in which the government was represented only by basic institutions and all powers belonged to the regions.

The Bosnian Serb leader accused the Western states of transforming the country into the “Muslim Bosnia”. Dodik said that if there is no political reaction to the current situation, in a couple of years the Serbs will have nothing to defend.