Due to the current political crisis and instability in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB) and the Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada (IRGC) jointly call upon all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to exercise their right to protest in a peaceful and dignified manner and to demand comprehensive political and economic reforms for all of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and not just a single entity. Problems faced by all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity or religious affiliation are consequences of eighteen year old “Dayton” political system which inherently encourages corruption, nepotism, social injustice which has resulted in severe economic difficulties. This system is contrary to all the principles by which modern political representation is based on; the civic foundations of equality, freedom, social and economic security and the right to employment, education, and hope for a better future. We also support the efforts of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina in all cities of the country including the RS entity, many of whom also expressed their dissatisfaction, to show solidarity with their fellow citizens and require improving social and economic conditions in their cities and communities.
We condemn all forms of violence and hooliganism, particularly attacks on government buildings and institutions because they are contrary to the civic principles mentioned above. We also categorically condemn any attempts of politicization of these issues by ruling parties and opposition parties. All incidents and the attacks on the building of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its institutions should be understood as a tragic consequence of many years of neglect by cantonal, entity and state politicians who have ceased to empathize with ordinary citizens, many of whom live below the poverty line with no prospects for a better tomorrow. It is unacceptable that the Ministry of Security for Bosnia and Herzegovina did not protect government buildings such as the headquarters of Bosnian and Herzegovinian which remains a symbol of resistance to the city of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina during the aggression against our country.
We warn all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina not to fall for the manipulation of these protests for political purposes by opportunists, profiteers and enemies of Bosnia and Herzegovina who want these protests to escalate into ethnic divisions and the collapse of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We strongly condemn the statements of Milorad Dodik, and calls from Belgrade to leaders of the RS entity, and the controversial visit of Croatian Prime Minister which showed irresponsibility and lack of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and unity of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their behavior of directly interfering into the politics of Bosnia and Herzegovina is reminiscent of the policies of the 1990s that led to the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina from Serbia, Montenegro, and Croatia.
Bosniaks of North America, as citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the genocide victims stand in solidarity with all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who consider it their homeland. CNAB and IGC will appeal to the State Department of the United States and Canadian government for stronger engagement of these countries towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is unacceptable that the United States, as the broker and guarantor of the Dayton Peace Agreement, and Canada passively look on as the same democratic rights are being denied for the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina whose citizens have been waiting for years for real and meaningful change in order to take their place in Europe with the pride and dignity they deserve.
The Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB)
Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada (IRGC)