Sarajevo, July 1, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
Census results show that BiH is the first country in Europe that has majority of islam believers and it is precedent in the history of continent since 1878, when the Berlin congress decided toallow the Austro-Hungarian Empire to annex Bosnia, which was part of the Ottoman Empire in that time.
This fact disturbed many in the state and a number of non-Muslim politicians are convinced that 50.11 percent of muslims in the country is not the correct number, because more than 190,000 of them were included in census results, when in fact they live abroad. After RS president, Milorad Dodik, stated that this entity authorities will never accept this results, Serb member of tripartite BiH Presidency, Mladen Ivanic, goes further and set new conditions in this case. He, in fact, demands the revision of the whole census process. On the press conference at Friday in Banja Luka, Ivanic stated that the results are neither correct nor relevant.
“We all in BiH know that the results of this population census are not correct and relevant. We turned the population census into politics, which should not have been done”, Ivanic said.
He added that he offered a compromise which was not accepted by the FBiH, particularly by the Bosniak member of the BiH Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic. Ivanic explained that his compromise was simple – publish the results and clearly emhasize that the disputed number of 190,000 citizens doesn’t live in the state than abroad. In this way, said Ivanic, we got the ilusion that BiH has more residents than it is true number and therefor the results are not correct and relevant. He said that BiH cannot function with the system of outvoting in joint institutions and that it can function only in keeping with a compromise and agreement.
Head of the EU Delegation to BiH and EU Special representative, Lars Gunnar Wigemark, said that the the first published results of the census in BiH in 2013 must be taken with caution until clear determination that they are in accordance with international standards, as it has yet to be determined. Wigemark noted that the final evaluation of the International monitoring mission will include all activities of the distribution of the final results.
“An international monitoring mission will evaluate the quality of the census after detailed analysis and this will be done in autumn”, Wigemark said.
He emphasized that the census results are crucial for socio-economic planning in BiH, and that they will help in the implementation of the Reform Agenda and the European integration process.
Head of EU Delegation said that the problem is that “part of the country, RS, does not recognize the results of the census, even though the RS Statistical Office participated in the whole process”.
Wigemark added that for EU is not as important how many Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats live in BiH but what is the id the total of citizens, what they do, whether they are employed, how many students and that their age structure.
But, Wigemark didn’t comment the fact that, on the day when results were announced, Council of Muftis in BiH Islamic community issued the announcement about endangered human rights of Bosniaks (Muslims) in RS. For the first time, after the results were announced, they emphasized that it is impossible to endanger the rights of Bosniaks, as “the most numerous nation in BiH”. It is the first time but, as it seems at the moment, it will not be the last time.