Only days before the UN Security Council session about the situation in BiH, the Republika Srpska (RS) Government sent the 19th report to the institution, in order to emphasise its opinion on the recent events and main problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The session will take place this week and, as usual,the International Community High Representative, Valentin Inzko will address the participants and read his report. It is expected and assumed -based on past experience- that Inzko’s report and the UN’s will be completely different.
The Chairman of the BiH Presidency and the leader of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Bakir Izetbegović, told media that the RS report is “a non-serious act intended for voters of the entity, not the United Nations.”
“The UN Security Council has never taken into consideration previously written similar letters. The reason is that the entities do not have state attributes and are not in charge of international affairs, under the BiH Constitution. As in the previous so-called reports, this also presents a series of falsehoods persistently repeated in the public, including the statements that on strengthening the weapon industry “Bosniak leaders are threatened with violence and armed aggression.” Strengthening the weapon industry is in the function of strengthening the defence of every country, including BiH, and it stabilises peace and discourages conflict,” Izetbegović said.
In the letter attached to the report, the RS president Milorad Dodik, emphasised that the efforts by political opponents of Republika Srpska and its Government to create a sense of crisis through open misrepresentation of the political situation in BiH are intensified.
“The purpose of these efforts is to create false facts with the aim of gaining support for re-establishing direct international intervention in BiH’s internal affairs and influencing the upcoming elections. These procedures, if successful, would undermine the BiH Constitution and the basic principles of international law,” Dodik noted.
The report emphasised several problems, including “the growing jihadist threat to BiH”. The reason behind this dramatic warning is explained by this: “BiH exported more fighters to Iraq and Syria, per capita, than any other European country”.
“As the Islamic State has lost territory in the Middle East, hundreds of jihadist fighters have returned to BiH and other countries in the Western Balkans. Fighters from BiH are returning to a country that remains a haven for Islamic extremists. The SDA party, as detailed in a recent RS paper submitted to the UN Security Council, over the years has helped turn BiH into a sanctuary for jihadists. In a June 2017 article, the New Eastern Europe journal observed that, “Despite the Bosnian government claiming to control the religious situation, there are increasing reports of what is known as ‘Sharia villages,’ where most families live in polygamy under Islamic law, and symbols of ISIS are freely displayed in public places in breach of the established constitutional order.”
On the other side, the RS emphasised that it is fully committed to the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement and that the reports about its secession are baseless. At the same time, RS warned that the latest statements made by Bosniak politicians create the belief that this ethnic group is concentrated on the production of assault weapons for two reasons: to export them and also use them as a medium “to strengthen internal stability”. The latter would offer some kind of insurance at a moment when Serbia and Croatia are purchasing weapons for their armies.
RS also said that the procurement of rifles for entity police forces is transparent and necessary.
“The RS Ministry of Interior (MoI), which oversees all RS police, recently procured 2,500 rifles for police from the Serbian manufacturer Zastava for nearly 2 million BAM (about 1 million euros). The procurement has been conducted legally and with total transparency. Before procuring the weapons, the MoI requested and received the BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BiH Ministry of Defence, BiH Ministry of Security, and the BiH Intelligence Security Agency’s consents”, the report read.
As well, it was stressed that alleged close links of RS with Russia have are aimed at distabilising the country and “are intended as a pretext for heightened foreign intervention and to weaken the RS and its government”. Despite the rumours, the RS clarified that its police forces are by U.S. experts not by Russians… / IBNA