Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera 22 Nov 2020

Bosnia: 25 years since Dayton Accords, divisive politics live on


It has been 25 years since rival ethnic leaders signed a peace deal called the Dayton Agreement that would end the three-year Bosnian war.
But the politically divided country has seen little economic progress and the strengthening of its institutions since then.
International leaders are urging Bosnians to make the Dayton Agreement work.

Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons reports.

Agreed on November 21, 1995, by the heads of the warring factions in the Bosnian war, the Dayton Agreement brought hostilities in the Balkan country to a close. What does it mean now for Bosnia 25 years on?
Remarks by H.E. Valentin Inzko, High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Briefing the Security Council on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the High Representative for the country Valentin Inzko said that some three quarters of citizens are "unsatisfied or extremely unsatisfied with a situation in judiciary."

The briefing took place just days after Bosnia and Herzegovina marked 25 years since the Dayton Peace Accord was signed on 1 November 1995, ending the bloodiest war in Europe since the end of the World War II.

The High representative said that "the lack of progress in real reforms is obvious, blockages of institutions at state level and lately also at the Federation level became a new normal in BiH."

He also drew attention of the Council on "the systemic discrimination of the so-called others."

"These others are citizens who do not declare themselves as members of their constituent people," Inzko said. "There is very little preparedness of some politicians to remedy this shameful discrimination, which concerns about 10% of the citizens."

The High Representative also lamented the state of Rule of Law in the country.

"Binding court decisions go unimplemented for years, and blatant corruption goes unpunished," said Inzko, adding that according to some public opinion polls, some 74 percent of the citizens "are unsatisfied or extremely unsatisfied with a situation in judiciary."

Also speaking at the meeting, the Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzerovina to the UN Sven Alkalaj said "the international migrant crisis continuous to pose substantial challenge to the states of the region and their economies.

"During the reporting period, Bosnia and Herzegovina has experienced a significant increase in refugees and migrants on its territory, most of whom cross the border illegally," Alkalaj said. "We are grateful to the European Commission for financial support to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in handling this migration and strengthening its capacity for border management. However, for comprehensive reaction Bosnia and Herzegovina institutions need much more support from the European Union as well as from the United Nations agencies."

Also today, the Security Council adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the multinational stabilization force EUFOR Althea charged with overseeing the military implementation of the Dayton Accord. The resolution authorized the Althea operation for another year.
Informal comments to the media by Nathalie Broadhurst, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, on behalf of the Permanent Representatives of Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Norway on the situation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Speaking on behalf of Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom, the French Deputy Permanent Representative of France Nathalie Estival-Broadhurst, said that "25 years after the genocide in Srebrenica and the Dayton Peace Accord, we pay tribute to all victims, and we urge all political actors to demonstrate their genuine commitment for reconciliation."

We strongly condemn revisionism, genocide denial and glorification of convicted war criminals," Estival-Broadhurst said. "We reaffirm our support for Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU perspective as a single united and sovereign country. And we call for the swift implementation of the 14 key priorities identified in the Commission's opinion and Bosnia and Herzegovina's application for membership of the European Union. We strongly underlined the need for Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities to work towards strengthening the rule of flow, and to fight against corruption."
Jane Fonda is celebrating 25 years of the Georgia-based nonprofit organization she founded to help prevent teenage pregnancies. She recently spoke to The Associated Press about what's next for Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential. (Nov. 12)

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