International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Dodik: Serbs just want what the BiH Constitution initially gave them

October 17, 2021

The Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, denied a possibility of a new war in the country and argued that he is acting in accordance with the Constitution with his calls for dissolving certain state institutions.

Dodik, who has been pushing for the separation of the Serb-majority semi-autonomous Republika Srpska (RS) entity from Bosnia for years, added that representatives of the RS are not doing anything in violation of the Constitution of the country which representatives from Sarajevo claim is theirs.

He accused pro-Bosnian leaders of trying to “diminish the rights of Serbs” even if it would mean war.

Dodik has recently been threatening to withdraw the agreement for the establishment of a joint army, a state court and a state-wide taxation system, which Bosnian Serb representatives agreed to in the state parliament years ago, although the Constitution which is part of the 1995 peace agreement foresees separate armies, judiciary and taxation systems for the two entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

International officials in charge of interpreting the agreement have stated that the agreement once achieved in the parliament cannot be withdrawn. Dodik, who has been advocating a breakup of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the possibility of annexation of the RS to neighbouring Serbia in the future, believes the agreements to a transfer of powers to the state can be revoked.

“The Constitution is the basis of our activities, everything is written there, it is valid. The Constitution does not say they (the state) have the right to have a court and we are fighting against it because they want to use it to take everything from us – our forests, territory, tomorrow the water and probably everything else,” he said.

“And probably the right to breathe the air they will take from us. They do not want to see us physically,” he added.

Dodik emphasized that the hatred of the Bosniak politicians toward Republika Srpska is “absurd.”

Dodik said that the leader of the main Bosniak party, Bakir Izetbegovic, “only yesterday remembered that he won’t say that Republika Srpska is genocidal, although he always said that before, most likely because he was in Banja Luka and he was afraid someone will sanction him.”

According to Dodik, Republika Srpska legally and legitimately is executing this procedure and that there is no contract in the world one side cannot cancel.

“Of course this can be done. It’s not the Dayton Peace Agreement, those are agreements that were given for the army after the foreigners forced the representatives of Republika Srpska back then to do so and that’s the essence of it. We don’t trust that system. We just want back what the Constitution has given us, nothing else, not a millimetre more,” he added.

Source: https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/dodik-serbs-just-want-what-the-bih-constitution-initially-gave-them/

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