Bosnia peace deal ‘being broken’

Source: BBC News

A row has erupted between Bosnian Serb politicians and the top international official in Bosnia-Hercegovina over the role of foreign judges and prosecutors.

The international High Representative, Valentin Inzko, says the Bosnian Serb republic, Republika Srpska (RS), has violated the 1995 Dayton peace accords.

His statement came after RS rejected his extension of the judges’ and prosecutors’ mandate until 2013.

They work on Bosnian war crimes cases, in line with the Dayton peace accords.

The Bosnian Serb prime minister, Milorad Dodik, has rejected Mr Inzko’s comments, and accused his office of undermining the peace deal.

Under the Dayton agreement, which ended the 1992-1995 war, Bosnia was divided into Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim)-Croat and Bosnian Serb entities, with a federal presidency.

Plea to respect Dayton

The High Representative has the power to impose laws and dismiss elected officials.
A statement from Mr Inzko’s office says Republika Srpska’s government and parliament “are in violation of the Dayton Peace Agreement” because they rejected his extension of the foreign judges’ and prosecutors’ mandate.

“The Republika Srpska must respect the Dayton Peace Agreement in its entirety and must not challenge actions undertaken on the basis of Dayton,” the statement said.

Mr Dodik, quoted by the Belgrade-based Radio B92 website, countered that Mr Inzko’s team “are the ones committing crimes and violating Dayton, not us”.

Mr Inzko, an Austrian diplomat, is taking the matter to the UN Security Council and to the governments monitoring implementation of Dayton.

Meanwhile, the Bosnian Serbs plan to hold a referendum on the issue.

The leaders of Bosnia’s divided communities have stalled over reform of the Bosnian constitution – seen as a vital step towards eventual EU and Nato membership.