By Medina Malagić – Sarajevo
According to research conducted by the UN Offices in Sarajevo and which was presented to Ambassadors and the members of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), a new conflict in B&H has been predicted. The report was dated from 8 October 2013.
The research was conducted in May and June 2013 of 805 citizens of B&H. The document does not specifically say that there will be a new conflict in B&H, but according to the views of many citizens that were included in the research, they expect some form of violence to erupt in B&H in the future.
The results of the research conducted more precisely defined by what the UN means when it spoke of the possibility of a new conflict in B&H. According to the UN Offices in Sarajevo, it would be not a ‘real war’, thereby differentiating the predictions of a future conflict in B&H from the conflict that took place here during the early 1990’s.
A survey of the opinion of B&H citizens were included in the research. 35,7 percent of B&H citizens are convinced that there will be some form of violence in B&H in the future. The type of violence that was identified were violent demonstrations, separate ethnic incidents and wider ethnic clashes, as well as a rise in crime.
Around 66 percent of citizens, regardless of their ethnic affiliation, believe that a new conflict in the Balkans and in B&H would not happen within the next five years.
Many citizens offer a grim prospect for their country. Around 39,6 percent of those surveyed said that this year is worse than last year, and 33,1 percent believe that next year will be worse than this year. 50,2 percent described last year in a negative way.
Most respondents, 72,4 percent of them, said that corruption is the biggest problem in their country, followed by economy and politics.
If a new conflict were to erupt, only some B&H citizens said that they would take up arms, and more said that they would do nothing (13,5 percent Bosniaks, 12,6 percent Croats, 64,9 percent Serbs).
In contrast to the bellow of some politicians in B&H who advocate that B&H cannot function as a state based on its current borders, the research showed that a large percentage of people from all ethnic groups believe that a breakup of B&H cannot occur peacefully (58,8 percent Bosniaks, 55 percent Croats, 44,7 percent Serbs).
At the end of the report, the UN cites that lethargy and passiveness among B&H citizens, unless they are directly threatened, is one of the main problems that prevents any substantial changes from taking place that would change their dismal circumstances.
The research also showed that the majority of B&H citizens wish to live in areas where their own ethnic group makes up most of the population (73 percent of B&H citizens from all three ethnic groups). Belief in reconciliation among different groups in B&H is low, revealing that a lack of a mutual identity in B&H society and no optimism that the situation would improve means that, according to the UN report, that the future of B&H is unpredictable.