The Stream

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Is a split inevitable?

On Tuesday, December 7 at 19:30 GMT:
Bosnia-Herzegovina’s future is in question as the Serb leader within the country’s tripartite presidency pushes to withdraw the largely-autonomous Republika Srpska entity from the country’s army and key political institutions.

People across Bosnia-Herzegovina – comprised of a Bosniak-Croat Federation and the Serb-run Republika Srpska – are waiting to see if Republika Srpska’s parliament will examine Dodik’s proposals for the enclave to be run by Serb-only institutions in a session expected on December 10.

Dodik’s announcement in October that Republika Srpska may quit Bosnia’s armed forces, judiciary body and tax authority marked a significant escalation in tensions between Serb leaders and their Bosniak and Croat counterparts. His stated aim to eventually set up a separate Serb army is already worrying Bosniak communities in Republika Srpska.

The High Representative for Bosnia Christian Schmidt says that Dodik’s separatist plans risk destroying the 1995 Dayton Agreement that brought an end to a three-year international war between Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks, in which more than 100,000 people were killed. Schmidt warns of renewed conflict if the accord fails.

Bosnian Serb politicians are meanwhile boycotting all Bosnia’s major institutions – effectively bringing the country’s central government to a near-halt. Their move in July came after then-High Representative Valentin Inzko banned denial of genocide in Bosnia, to limit attempts by Bosnian Serbs to dismiss the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which Bosnian Serb forces killed more than 8,000 Bosniaks. Dodik insists he is not pushing for Republika Srpska’s full secession from Bosnia.

In this episode of The Stream we’ll look at what Dodik’s proposals and the ensuing political crisis mean for Bosnia-Herzegovina’s future.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Jasmin Mujanović, @JasminMuj
Political scientist

Edina Becirevic, @edinabecirevic
Professor, University of Sarajevo

Riada Ašimović Akyol, @riadaaa
Independent journalist