May 27. 2024. 9:06

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Bosnian Serbs defy top international envoy’s decree


The increasingly defiant president of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Serb half, secessionist Milorad Dodik, brushed aside a decree by the country’s top international envoy on Monday and said a property law it sought to suspend “will remain in force.”

The High Representative, German politician Christian Schmidt, used his extensive powers to suspend the Republika Srpska law on immovable property, which essentially assigned the Bosnian Serb government ownership of all public companies and institutions.

Schmidt reacted after his demand that the country’s Constitutional Court urgently rule on the disputed law went unheeded but Dodik simply disregarded the German politician, whose post was created as part of a peace deal that set up Bosnia after the 1992-95 war.

“From a legal point of view, nothing happened,” Dodik said, as reported by N1. “The Republika Srpska adopted the law on immovable property, which remains in force”.

There has been no immediate reaction from Schmidt following the Bosnian Serb rejection of his suspension.

Post-war Bosnia comprises the RS and the Bosniak-Croat Federation, joined in a loose union with a weak central government.

Dodik, who is under US sanctions for undermining peace in the country, has repeatedly threatened to oversee RS’s secession from Bosnia and has called for a “peaceful break-up” of BiH.

The country became an EU candidate in December but in order to progress, it needs to implement a number of democratic reforms, while the Federation still has not managed to form a government following a general election on 2 October.

(Zoran Radosavljević | EURACTIV.com)