Bosnia’s international administrator, Valentin Inzko, must not leave the country without doing something Bosnians would remember him by, and that should be imposing a ban on genocide denial, the leader of the strongest Bosniak ethnic party in the country, Bakir Izetbegovic, told N1.
Inzko is the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement.
He has a special set of powers – the ‘Bonn Powers’ – which allow him to, among other things, fire officials and imposes laws.
Inzko has been urging Bosnian authorities to adopt a law that would ban genocide denial for years, arguing that it would be best if he did not use the Bonn Powers and that it should be a domestic process.
The initiative to adopt such a law came in light of frequent statements coming from officials in Bosnia’s Serb-majority semi-autonomous Republika Srpska (RS) entity – most notably the current Chairman of the country’s tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik – who deny that a genocide took place in the eastern town of Srebrenica in 1995.
According to Izetbegovic, who is the leader of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and a member of Bosnia’s House of Peoples, Dodik’s behaviour only depends on “who he relies on.”
Izetbegovic argued that the international community brought Dodik to power and that when it is weakened, Dodik will rely on Serb nationalism.
He exemplified this with a UN Security Council meeting in November which he said resulted in Dodik removing a plaque with the name of convicted Bosnian Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic from a dormitory in Pale, near the capital.
“So Dodik can change,” Izetbegovic said, arguing that this can be achieved with “positive pressure.”
“Mr. Inzko must not leave this country and be remembered as a High Representative who would only express concern and receive a high salary. He should do something that these people will remember him by, such as the ban on genocide denial,” he said, calling the glorification of war criminals in the country “shameful.”