Dodik keeps raising tensions with OHR
The opinion of the EU Special Representative in BiH Peter Sorensen in Dublin, according to which it is necessary to be cautious when making decisions on the existing executive mandates of both the OHR and EUFOR in BiH, opened a polemic in domestic political circles of whether the High Representative should remain in our country any longer.
In a statement from the EU Delegation in BiH it is cited that we recall that in his speech in Dublin, Sorensen said that "in the same way that we adopted restrictive measures for BiH, which are to be used in case of negative developments in the situation, it might be advisable to leave the OHR and EUFOR mandates for a time until BiH is fully integrated into the EU program, both citizens and leaders."
Conditions are clear
Sorensen's concern "for a negative development in the situation" in BiH corresponds with the moment when the Republika Srpska president Milorad Dodik once again with his statements, both in Banja Luka and in Belgrade, is lunging at the constitutional foundations of BiH, threatening its collapse as an inevitability that he will strongly encourage.
The obstacle to this, Dodik believes, is still the institutional and Dayton Peace Accord regulated presence of the High Representative of the international community in BiH.
Therefore it is not surprising that the sharp reaction that the RS President welcomed the possibility of a continuing mandate for the OHR. Dodik believes that "reference to the maintenance of the OHR, whether it comes from Bosniak political parties or from representatives of the international community, shows that in fact there is a misconception of how such a worn-out institution like the OHR could fail to compensate for the lack of internal cohesion in BiH, or even more misleading, that the OHR represents a guarantee of BiH's survival."
"If the EU Special Representative really called for the maintenance of the OHR, or in the case that there are any mechanisms outside it that are typical of the integration process, then that speaks to the thesis that not even the European path is a guarantee that BiH can function as a state," Dodik said.
In commentary on the statements of the RS president on the impossibility that BiH could survive as a state, the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Office stated that the position of the U.S. on these issues is well known. "The Dayton Peace Accord quite clearly describes the status of BiH as a unified state consisting of two entities and three constitutive peoples. The U.S. is committed to the principles of the Dayton Peace Accord - BiH is a democratic, multiethnic, sovereign and independent state with unquestioned territorial integrity - and it is expected from political leaders in the country that they remain committed to these principles. BiH is organized as a decentralized state, but separation is not possible. As we said earlier, the closure of the OHR requires fulfillment of the agenda of the 5+2 Peace Implementation Council; the PIC will decide whether all the conditions are met. All the goals and conditions, including full respect for the Dayton Peace Accord, must be fulfilled before the U.S. will support the closure of the OHR," the U.S. Embassy stated.
In response to Dodik's statements, the OHR reminded the RS President that the Administrative Board of the PIC is the only instance that can discuss and decide on the future of the OHR. Besides the implementation of the agreement on military and state materiel, the OHR reiterated, the realization of other elements from the five goals and two conditions would also contribute to the progress of the country, which would create an environment in which it would be possible to discuss the future of the OHR. The OHR also warns that "in raising tensions, Mr. Dodik threatens the same peace and stability that he claims he wants to preserve. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of BiH is guaranteed by the Constitution of BiH and international law, including the Dayton Peace Accord. Those who challenge the territorial integrity of BiH simultaneously call into question the legal existence of the entities, as defined in Article (3) of the BiH Constitution, as set out in Annex IV of the Dayton Peace Accord," the OHR said.