Serbian member and chairman of the BiH Presidency Milorad Dodik said at a session of the RS National Assembly on the activities of the Office of the High Representative in BiH (OHR) that now is the right time for the people of BiH to decide whether to respect Dayton or peacefully “thicken” the borders between Republika Srpska and the Federation of BiH.
“We (Serbs) do not need a high representative for the agreement, because he does not have a life mandate in BiH. We need Croats and Bosniaks with whom we need to reach a key agreement. If they do not want an agreement, then they should let us regulate Republika Srpska; In peace with the neighbours, and ourselves,” Dodik pointed out.
He assessed that the time has come for BiH to move forward without the High Representative and the OHR, reminding that this has long been the position of the Republika Srpska as one of the five parties that signed the Dayton Peace Agreement, accompanied by some other parties whose position has not been clearly stated, however it can be inferred from the dissatisfaction with certain moves of the OHR.
Dodik said that there is no position of the so-called “Republic of BiH”, because such a creation no longer exists after the Dayton Agreement abolished it.
“There is no single support for the survival of the OHR in the Federation of BiH either, because the legitimate representatives of the Croat people have repeatedly called for the termination of its work. Only the Bosniak political structure is persistent in its demands for the continuation of the surpassed international protectorate, which did not bring anything good or useful to anyone. It did not maintain peace, because it was executed through international military forces; first IFOR, then SFOR, and now the Althea mission of the European Union,” Dodik emphasized.
He noted that the High Representative’s actions had caused instability and the imposition of laws and deprivation of competencies to the entities, particularly Republika Srpska, and had exacerbated instability and irrationality in the exercise of delegated competencies compared to the time when the entities exercised them.
“The creation of the Armed Forces is an example of increasing costs. All this has led to additional dysfunction of BiH as a state union. That is why claims that BiH is dysfunctional due to the Dayton Agreement are incorrect. That is absolutely not true. It is dysfunctional because the Dayton Peace Agreement was not implemented as signed and the High Representatives did everything they could to keep BiH dependent on external influence through the Bosniak component Instead of discussing the steps to be taken on the European path, 26 years since the end of the war, we are talking about whether we can live without protectors. If it were not for this serious issue it would be comical, but it seems to me that the space for laughter disappeared in the past 26 years. I am sorry, but I have to say that the Bosniak part of the FBiH seems to be suffering from the Stockholm syndrome; because how else can one explain the need, in addition to the legally elected representatives, to have a tutor over you whom you loved more than your representatives?” Dodik wondered.
He stated that there is no ethnic violence in BiH, and that outbursts on a national or religious basis are very rare.
“Peace has reigned here for years, which is a great fact for all peoples. There is no reason why it should not remain that way. Not because international military forces would stifle any attempt to disturb the peace, but because the consciousness of the Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks is at that level where war is not an option for anyone. I want to believe this is the case. Given that we live in peace, I believe this is the right time for an agreement. Not an agreement with the EU, Russia or the United States, but an agreement between the peoples of BiH. What is it that Bosnia and Herzegovina wants? Is it possible at all? Let’s agree; will we respect Dayton or will we ‘thicken’ the borders between Republika Srpska and the Federation of BiH in peace, because we are already separated in Dayton, and continue to arrange our own yard. I just know that the situation in which we have been dying for 26 years no longer makes sense and can no longer exist,” the Serbian member and chairman of the Presidency of BiH Milorad Dodik concluded.
Deputies of the ruling coalition in the NARS proposed a series of conclusions that should be adopted. Opposition parties left the session after several brief discussions. One of the comments of the opposition was that this session should have been held 15 years ago and not now. /ibna