A Designation for Obstructing Peace in the Balkans

Pierre Human Rights, World 0 Comments

It’s been nearly 22 years since the signing of the Dayton Agreement ended the Bosnian conflict. But to this day, ultra-nationalists within the multi-ethnic country of Bosnia And Herzegovina are attempting to sow hatred, spark strife among neighbors, fracture the country along ethnic lines and push agendas that prioritize their ethnic group at the expense of stability and prosperity for the country as a whole.

As stipulated by the Dayton Agreement, Bosnia And Herzegovina is a single, sovereign state comprised of two entities — the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska.

The Dayton Agreement also established the Office of the High Representative to ensure the implementation of the agreement. In 1997, the international community granted the High Representative special legal authorities, also known as the Bonn Powers, to ensure that Bosnia And Herzegovina’s political entities comply with and fully implement the peace agreement.

In September 2016, President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik held a referendum to designate January 9th as Republika Srpska Day. And on January 9th, Dodik led the celebration of Republika Srpska Day. Both the Referendum and the holiday itself had been banned by the country’s Constitutional Court, which found the holiday discriminatory against non-Serbs living in Republika Srpska.

For his role in defying the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in violation of the rule of law, thereby actively obstructing the Dayton Accords, and for conduct that poses a significant risk of actively obstructing the peace agreement, the United States Treasury Department has sanctioned Milorad Dodik. This means that any property or interest in property Mr. Dodik has within United States jurisdiction is blocked, and U.S. persons may not engage in transactions with him.

The United States strongly opposes challenges to the Dayton Agreement and rhetoric that advocates secession for the Republika Srpska.

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