Serbs want Constitution, peace deal to be honored, says Republika Srpska leader Milorad Dodik
The leader of Republika Srpska (RS), one of the two political entities making up Bosnia and Herzegovina, said officials are seriously considering the independence of the region.
”We are considering in the most serious terms to bring a decision to declare independence and secede Republika Srpska unless the property issue is solved,” said Milorad Dodik.
His comments came in a joint news conference after meeting Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade.
Dodik said events escalated with the repeal of a law that said immovable properties belong to the entities.
”We want the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be honored, and the Dayton Agreement, and the integrity of Bosnia. But also, the honoring of the rights undoubtedly given to the RS by the Constitution.
“We have come to a point where we can no longer delay this matter and our defense is that we are seriously considering the possibility of passing a decision on independence and secession of Republika Srpka,” he said.
Vucic said the Dayton Peace Agreement is “the essence of the functioning of Bosnia and Herzegovina and, of course, Republika Srpska.”
Serbia will always support what the three constituent peoples in Bosnia agree on, he said, referring to Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosniaks.
A joint sitting of the Serbian and RS governments was announced by the leaders.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Constitutional Court repealed a controversial immovable property law in the RS entity in early March.
The court’s ruling came after the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina suspended the law one day before it was expected to take effect Feb. 28.
Previously, the Constitutional Court ruled that the management authority of public properties belongs to the entity and property rights belong to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The high representative has the authority to dismiss anyone who interferes with peace implementation in the country, including members of the Presidential Council, and to pass laws as necessary. The powers are dubbed “Bonn powers.”
Arguing that the immovable properties belong to the entities, according to the Dayton Peace Treaty, which ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, RS said the administration of the properties is also its own under the said law.
While the unconstitutional law on immovable properties was expected to take effect in late February, the public institutions used by the RS under the law are claimed to be “part” of it.
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