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International official: Bosnia is in danger of breaking up

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The North Polish Union
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International official: Bosnia is in danger of breaking up

Postby The North Polish Union » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:05 am

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/02/bosnia-is-in-danger-of-breaking-up-warns-eus-top-official-in-the-state?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

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The international community’s chief representative in Bosnia has warned that the country is in imminent danger of breaking apart, and there is a “very real” prospect of a return to conflict.

In a report to the UN seen by the Guardian, Christian Schmidt, the high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that if Serb separatists carry out their threat to recreate their own army, splitting the national armed forces in two, more international peacekeepers would have to be sent back in to stop the slide towards a new war.

International peacekeeping duties in Bosnia are currently the task of a residual EU force (Eufor) that is 700 strong. Nato retains a formal toehold with a headquarters in Sarajevo. The year-long mandate for both is up for renewal this week at the UN security council, but Russia has threatened to block a resolution unless all references to the high representative are removed, potentially undermining Schmidt’s authority as the overseer of the 1995 Dayton peace deal.

In his first report since taking up the post in August, Schmidt, a former German government minister, warned that Bosnia was facing “the greatest existential threat of the postwar period”.

The Bosnian Serb leader, Milorad Dodik, is threatening to pull out of state-level institutions, including the national army built up with international assistance over the past quarter century, and reconstitute a Serb force. On 14 October, Dodik said he would force the Bosnian army to withdraw from the Republika Srpska (the Serb half of Bosnia) by surrounding its barracks and that if the west tried to intervene militarily, he had “friends” who had promised to support the Serb cause, a presumed reference to Serbia and Russia.

Bosnian Serb police carried out “counter-terrorist” exercises last month on Mount Jahorina, from where Serb forces bombarded Sarajevo throughout a 1992-95 siege.

“This is tantamount to secession without proclaiming it,” Schmidt wrote in a report delivered to the UN secretary general, António Guterres, on Friday. He said Dodik’s actions “endanger not only the peace and stability of the country and the region, but – if unanswered by the international community – could lead to the undoing of the [Dayton peace] agreement itself.”

The high representative said it was possible there would be clashes between Bosnian national law enforcement agencies and Bosnian Serb police.

“Should the armed force of BiH [Bosnia and Herzegovina] splinter into two or more armies, the level of international military presence would require reassessment,” Schmidt warned.

“A lack of response to the current situation would endanger the [Dayton agreement], while instability in BiH would have wider regional implications,” he said. “The prospects for further division and conflict are very real.”

Schmidt’s warnings were delivered as the UN security council was preparing its annual resolution renewing the peacekeeping mandate for Eufor and the Nato headquarters, with a vote as early as Wednesday. Moscow is threatening to block the resolution unless all references to the high representative are removed.

The Kremlin opposed Schmidt’s appointment by a Peace Implementation Council, an ad hoc multinational body set up to implement the Dayton peace agreement, and refuses to recognise his authority.

“I suspect what Russia really wants is to chip away at the authority of the high representative’s office by stopping him briefing the council,” said a diplomat close to the discussions.

Kurt Bassuener, co-founder and senior associate of the Democratization Policy Council, a Berlin-based thinktank, said: “It sounds like the Americans, the Brits and the French have effectively agreed to really strip back the references to the high representative that were boilerplate, standard issue language in all the previous resolutions.” He added: “And while legally that doesn’t undercut the high representative, politically it sure as hell does.”

Even if Eufor’s mandate is renewed, there is little appetite in the EU to beef up the small force left in Bosnia. Some member states, particularly Hungary, are supportive of Dodik.

“I think he’s willing to gamble on the possibility that, as improbable as it is, he can get away with it by essentially creating new facts on the ground rapidly and counting on the idea that confusion and delay would grip both Sarajevo and the international community and there would ultimately be no meaningful international consequences,” Jasmin Mujanović, a Bosnian political scientist, said.

US deputy assistant secretary of state Gabriel Escobar told Congress last week that the US is working with the EU to “make sure there are consequences for any illegal or any destabilising actions” in Bosnia. But it is unclear whether the Biden administration would support a return to Nato peacekeeping.

Alida Vračić, the head of a Bosnia-based thinktank, Populari, said the perpetual and worsening sense of crisis allows the country’s leaders to disguise their failure to govern.

“Dodik has gone ballistic, but collectively politicians hope to win points on this crisis and citizens are the only losers as expected,” Vračić said.

“This discussion comes in handy, as it derails all meaningful discussions like the fact that Sarajevo is choking in smog, that [the regional governments] embezzled money in the Covid-19 crisis, that the death toll in Sarajevo is worse than during the war, the fact that half of the country is living in poverty, that we have completed exactly zero reforms, that no laws have been discussed in the parliament for months.”

My opinion is that Bosnia-Hercegovina has for the last 25-odd years been an artificial state propped up by foreign interests. The artificial administrative segregation of Republika Srpska from the Bosniak-Croat Federation (themselves no true friends to one another) and the fact that the most powerful government position, the High Representative, is essentially a NATO/UN/EU-appointed dictator who has power over all laws and political appointments create serious issues for the country.

The article notes this as it says "Sarajevo is choking in smog, that [the regional governments] embezzled money in the Covid-19 crisis, that the death toll in Sarajevo is worse than during the war, the fact that half of the country is living in poverty, that we have completed exactly zero reforms, that no laws have been discussed in the parliament for months.” Is it any wonder that the Serbs are unhappy with this arrangement?

At the same time, Serb separatism must be viewed with suspicion if attempting to regain control of parts of the Bosniak-Croat Federation is one of their plans.

It is important to remember that the submitted of this report is Christian Schmidt, the arbitrarily-appointed High Representative who may be interested in making sure that his own political power and that of the organizations he represents is not diminished. Remember that the articles says that "perpetual and worsening sense of crisis allows the country’s leaders to disguise their failure to govern" and "collectively politicians hope to win points on this crisis and citizens are the only losers as expected."

Civilian rule was supposed to be returned to Bosnia-Hercegovina under the Dayton Accords, but a quarter century later none of Bosnia's foreign supporters have any interest in doing this, instead running a de facto colony. Whenever there is a potential threat they will double down on the arcane 'government' they have created. It is time for independence for Bosnia-Hercegovina. I am not sure how the best way to achieve this, but a continuation of the current situation only harms people.
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Postby Nilokeras » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:33 am

Clearly its time to return Bosnia to Austria and bring good governance back to the territory.

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Postby Page » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:43 am

Generally, I believe everyone who wants a country should get a country. The idea that one has no choice but to continue to associate with people they don't wish to associate with just because they were born is absurd.

I support Kosovo, Catalonia, Taiwan, Somaliland, Kurdistan, I don't see telling people who want to leave that they can't as any more morally justifiable than chaining up your partner in your basement when they break up with you.
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Postby Senkaku » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:44 am

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Postby The Huskar Social Union » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:52 am

Last thing the Balkans needs is another war so if they do end up splitting up i hope its done peacefully or they can resolve their issues and stay united. Just as long ass they dont murder one another.
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Postby Galactic Transylvania » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:53 am

The Huskar Social Union wrote:Last thing the Balkans needs is another war so if they do end up splitting up i hope its done peacefully or they can resolve their issues and stay united. Just as long ass they dont murder one another.


It involves the Balkans so I doubt it.
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Postby Countesia » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:59 am

Bosnia was always one of those nations where i never really understood how it kept together. A federation between a nation which in itself is a federation and a Serbian republic which only 20ish years ago were trying to kill each other.]

It was inevitable
Last edited by Countesia on Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Merriwhether » Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:23 pm

Page wrote:Generally, I believe everyone who wants a country should get a country. The idea that one has no choice but to continue to associate with people they don't wish to associate with just because they were born is absurd.

I support Kosovo, Catalonia, Taiwan, Somaliland, Kurdistan, I don't see telling people who want to leave that they can't as any more morally justifiable than chaining up your partner in your basement when they break up with you.

Bear in mind, though, that there will always be minorities and potentials for violence and conflict no matter where you draw the line. The partition of India and Pakistan is a stark example. In principle I think you're right, but reality is often unkind to the good intentions of principles.
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Postby Countesia » Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:27 pm

Merriwhether wrote:
Page wrote:Generally, I believe everyone who wants a country should get a country.


I'd probably word this better, along the lines that every ethnic homeland deserves the right of self governance.

Because if not, i could claim my house as a nation :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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Postby Relden » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:22 pm

The Serbs must salvage what was stolen from them.
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Postby Galactic Transylvania » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:23 pm

Relden wrote:The Serbs must salvage what was stolen from them.


>Serbia
>Stolen From

Comical
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Postby Countesia » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:24 pm

Galactic Transylvania wrote:
Relden wrote:The Serbs must salvage what was stolen from them.


>Serbia
>Stolen From

Comical


>Serbia

Comical

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Postby Hukhalia » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:29 pm

Countesia wrote:
Merriwhether wrote:


I'd probably word this better, along the lines that every ethnic homeland deserves the right of self governance.

This kind of ethno-nationalism is illogical and can lead to some pretty dodgy stuff.

Nations are defined along many lines -- "tribe" is a better, more ethnographic term for what you mean, though that's a bit outdated as well. Nations themselves arise from stable groups of people within a definite territory, who have shared culture, history, language, and common economic life. I'm not that educated on the Bosnian issue, but I doubt Bosnia-Herzegovina actually possesses all of these things outside of being bolted together arguably artificially.
Last edited by Hukhalia on Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Countesia » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:32 pm

Hukhalia wrote:
Countesia wrote:
I'd probably word this better, along the lines that every ethnic homeland deserves the right of self governance.

This kind of ethno-nationalism is illogical and can lead to some pretty dodgy stuff.

Nations are defined along many lines -- "tribe" is a better, more ethnographic term. Nations themselves arise from stable groups of people within a definite territory, who have shared culture, history, language, and common economic life. I'm not that educated on the Bosnian issue, but I doubt Bosnia-Herzegovina actually possesses all of these things outside of being bolted together arguably artificially.


I will admit saying that every ethnicity deserves to rule its homeland is teetering pretty close to the "every colour has its place, an ethnic home for every race" that's been going around, but imagine that without the implications of racism and segregation and more along the lines that people get to govern themselves.

Catalans consider themselves ethnically and culturally distinct from Spain, so I fully support their independence.
Last edited by Countesia on Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Free Ravensburg » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:34 pm

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Postby Hukhalia » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:34 pm

Countesia wrote:
Hukhalia wrote:This kind of ethno-nationalism is illogical and can lead to some pretty dodgy stuff.

Nations are defined along many lines -- "tribe" is a better, more ethnographic term. Nations themselves arise from stable groups of people within a definite territory, who have shared culture, history, language, and common economic life. I'm not that educated on the Bosnian issue, but I doubt Bosnia-Herzegovina actually possesses all of these things outside of being bolted together arguably artificially.


I will admit saying that every ethnicity deserves to rule its homeland is teetering pretty close to the "every colour has its place, an ethnic home for every race" that's been going around, but imagine that without the implications of racism and segregation and more along the lines that people get to govern themselves.

Catalans consider themselves ethnically and culturally distinct from Spain, so I fully support their independence.

how can you make a statement regarding race to be the foundation of national independence and then try to distance yourself from racism
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Postby Countesia » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:38 pm

Hukhalia wrote:
Countesia wrote:
I will admit saying that every ethnicity deserves to rule its homeland is teetering pretty close to the "every colour has its place, an ethnic home for every race" that's been going around, but imagine that without the implications of racism and segregation and more along the lines that people get to govern themselves.

Catalans consider themselves ethnically and culturally distinct from Spain, so I fully support their independence.

how can you make a statement regarding race to be the foundation of national independence and then try to distance yourself from racism


Not the sole foundation, but culture, national identity and history. I support self governance, but should said nation cast out all immigrants and minorities and become some sort of ethnostate i wouldn't at all support it.

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Postby -Astoria- » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:38 pm

Galactic Transylvania wrote:
Relden wrote:The Serbs must salvage what was stolen from them.


>Serbia
>Stolen From

Comical

*Kosovo in the background*
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Postby Kaczynskisatva » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:41 pm

Page wrote:Generally, I believe everyone who wants a country should get a country.


Okay, great - I want a country.

Just me, personally. My country: population, 1.

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Postby Free Ravensburg » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:42 pm

Kaczynskisatva wrote:
Page wrote:Generally, I believe everyone who wants a country should get a country.


Okay, great - I want a country.

Just me, personally. My country: population, 1.

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Postby -Astoria- » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:44 pm

Kaczynskisatva wrote:
Page wrote:Generally, I believe everyone who wants a country should get a country.


Okay, great - I want a country.

Just me, personally. My country: population, 1.

You know what they say: your house is your castle...
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Postby Galactic Transylvania » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:45 pm

-Astoria- wrote:
Galactic Transylvania wrote:
>Serbia
>Stolen From

Comical

*Kosovo in the background*


Kosovo is not Serbia. Kosovo is rightfully an independent country.

I don't care how Serbia's victim complex wants to play it.

It isn't their land.
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Kaczynskisatva
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Postby Kaczynskisatva » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:47 pm

Countesia wrote:Not the sole foundation, but culture, national identity and history. I support self governance, but should said nation cast out all immigrants and minorities and become some sort of ethnostate i wouldn't at all support it.


So, the Bosnians have the right to have a country, but they have the obligation to also incorporate the Serbs into that country?

Doesn't that contradict the premise?

This is really quite confused. You know, you don't have to kneejerk against a general idea, like "natural ethnic groups have the right to self-government" just because some nazis had the idea. Hitler was a vegetarian, and nazis drank water. That doesn't mean you have to be anti-vegetarian, or anti-drinking water. The principled anti-nazi position is anti-destroying Europe, which is also the anti-Napoleon position.

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Hukhalia
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Postby Hukhalia » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:47 pm

curse this thread for showing me that there still exists those who sympathise with serbia

jesus christ
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The Huskar Social Union
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Postby The Huskar Social Union » Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:47 pm

Galactic Transylvania wrote:
The Huskar Social Union wrote:Last thing the Balkans needs is another war so if they do end up splitting up i hope its done peacefully or they can resolve their issues and stay united. Just as long ass they dont murder one another.


It involves the Balkans so I doubt it.

Yeah it doesnt have a great precedent like does it.
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