Milorad Dodik, the secessionist leader of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Republika Srpska, said on September 30 that his ruling SNSD party will draft an agreement on the peaceful separation of the country’s two entities.
Bosnia comprises two autonomous entities – the Muslim-Croat Federation and Republika Srpska. Each of them has its own institutions and there are also state-level bodies.
Dodik, who is sanctioned by the US and the UK, has been threatening for years that Republika Srpska will secede from Bosnia. So far, he has backed off before making a decisive move to break up the country but in the past months his ruling SNSD party has taken steps towards secession with the adoption of a law defying the authority of the state-level constitutional court and of international community’s high representative Christian Schmidt.
In a speech during the SNSD assembly, Dodik said that the party will move forward with secession once the proper time has come.
“What will have to happen is that the SNSD will create an agreement on the peaceful separation of the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina and Republika Srpska in an attempt to ensure a better life in a peaceful way. A strong Republika Srpska is all that we want. Republika Srpska cooperates with Serbia, as well as other factors,” Dodik said as quoted by Klix.ba.
Dodik will hold meetings in October with Russian President Vladimir Putin, China’s President Xi Jinping and Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban. He is also a loyal ally to Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic.
Dodik said that Republika Srpska is forced to live in the state union under pressure from the international community.
At the assembly, Dodik was re-elected as the SNSD’s leader unanimously. There were no other candidates for the post.
Denis Becirovic, the Bosniak member of Bosnia’s state-level tripartite presidency, commented on Dodik’s statement, calling it a a misconception by an irresponsible politician who has stepped into dangerous anti-Dayton and anti-constitutional waters.
“We shall defend the State of Bosnia & Herzegovina by all available legal, political, diplomatic and other legal means in accordance with national and international law. Those who thought it was possible to build a state on the internationally recognised territory of Bosnia & Herzegovina ended up as war criminals with life sentences in prison,” Becirovic said as quoted by N1.
“Milorad Dodik and his mentors must know that the fundamental determination of the Dayton Peace Agreement and the Constitution of BiH is that all political and other factors are "committed to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina in accordance with international law,” he added.