Inzko: Referendum on RS independency is a red line

Inzko: Referendum on RS independency is a red line

International community High representative to BiH, Valentin Inzko, said in an interview with Deutsche Welle, that the Republic of Srpska secession will never happen and that it is the red line which would activate the “Bonn powers”.

He stated that the international community has all the tools in its hands to prevent such an event.

“We have a mandate from the United Nations and we will not allow that,” Inzko said in the interview.

He welcomed the statement of Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, who said that Serbia does not want to merge with the RS and that he respects the territorial integrity of BiH. But, in a similar interview a few days ago, RS president Milorad Dodik, asked by the DW journalist, redrew the map of the Balkan countries where he merged RS with Serbia and Northern Kosovo. For this map, Inzko said that attempts of changes of the borders is always dangerous. He stated that borders are finalised, especially in BiH.

“We can do everything in BiH, but let’s compete in who will be more successful,” he said.

Asked if he would soon use the Bonn powers, Inzko said that the situation is not always pink in the country, and some officials in the international community think that it might be good again to use the Bonn powers. He added that a decision for activation of the Bonn powers might have been made, but implementation depends on the situation, whether it is a major violation of the Dayton Agreement or not, etc.

“A big violation of Dayton Agreement would be, of course, some sort of referendum on secession of the RS. It would be a red line. I will do everything to prevent this from happening”, said Inzko.

Asked to explain what he would do if that referendum took a place, the top official noted that, if he and bigger countries in the Peace Implementation Council have the plan for such a situation, they certainly would not publish it via television.

Commenting on Dodik’s statement, that he is working to create a political environment to organise the referendum, Inzko said that the international community representatives are working specifically on some issues and there some results in this regard. Inzko recalled that RS planned to hold a referendum on the work of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Court of BiH and the Office of the High Representative, but that it did not happen.

“The international community did not intervene. However, it was completely clear that it would be anti-Dayton,” Inzko said.

Answering on the question about the criticism of Russia regarding Inzko’s latest report on the situation in BiH, submitted to the UN Security Council, and on the fact that the Russian representative called him a “Serbophobic”, Inzko said that he is completely relaxed about that. He added that it was ridiculously and totally crazy to accuse him of being Serbophobic.

“And I have to say: There are no bad nations,” Inzko told to DW.

Inzko stated that the Russians demanded more dialogue in BiH, consensus, etc.

“I agree with the Russians except if we reach a certain limit when this consensus and this dialogue can no longer be successful,” said Inzko.

To the direct question whether the Russians prevented the possible dismissal of Milorad Dodik,  Inzko answered that “it has not yet come to this step”. He added that the international community, did not debate this possibility…/IBNA