Displaying items by tag: Serbia

Thursday, 06 January 2022 21:05

Bosnia: Serb leader stirs talk of war

Bosnia has three presidents. Each one represents a particular ethnic group, and the fragile multiethnic government faces its greatest crisis since the Balkan wars. Serb nationalist leader Milorad Dodik is threatening to tear Bosnia apart by withdrawing the Serb territory he leads from Bosnia. He has stopped meeting the other regional presidents and vowed to withdraw from the armed forces and tax agency in favor of his own agencies. Political rivals and foreign diplomats say recent scandals suggest his rhetoric is to deflect corruption allegations. But in a region where the war shadow is everywhere, Bosnians fear their country’s peace is threatened. ‘It will not be peaceful,’ warned Sefik Dzaferovic, one of the three presidents. An opposition party leader said, ‘He hates stability because he then has to explain why we are living like we do. He plays on people's emotions regardless of the consequences.’ The UN called it ‘the greatest threat’ to Bosnia’s survival since 1990.

Published in Europe

The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo will meet imminently to restart the EU-brokered dialogue that would normalise relations and put both nations on a path to European Union membership. The date for a meeting will be announced shortly by the EU's foreign policy chief. The dialogue is the only path to membership of the European Union for both nations. Talks began a decade ago but have stalled in recent years. A change of government and a new prime minister with a strong political mandate in Pristina has increased the chances of successful talks between the two neighbours. In February Albin Kurti was elected in a landslide victory and has repeatedly said he wanted a full apology from Serbia for its actions during the 1998-99 conflict, which led to the displacement of a million Kosovars and at least 20,000 deaths. The politicians may make many public statements, but what really matters is what is said in discussions.

Published in Europe