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Bosnian Serb Leader Says Country Headed for ‘Peaceful’ Separation

Bosnia will likely “peacefully separate” in its future, Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said Tuesday, as the Balkan country marked the 28th anniversary of the peace deal that ended its bloody civil war.

Dodik — a 64-year-old Kremlin ally — has held enormous sway over Bosnia’s Serb entity Republika Srpska for years and has frequently stoked ethnic tensions with his secessionist threats.

“Unfortunately, Bosnia’s epilogue will be that it peacefully separate,” said Dodik during a press conference in the Bosnian Serb capital of Banja Luka.

“It’s clear that we are on that path and that the train has left the station and there is no turning back,” he added.

Dodik has long been a fierce opponent of certain institutions and reforms stemming from the Dayton Agreement — the US-brokered peace accord that ended Bosnia’s civil war in 1995 during which some 100,000 people were killed.

In accordance with the deal, Bosnia has remained split into two semi-autonomous blocs — the Serbs’ Republika Srpska (RS) and the Muslim-Croat Federation — which are linked by weak central institutions.

Dodik on Tuesday trashed international pressure directed at his leadership, calling recent moves by Washington a “hybrid war” against the RS.

The peace deal’s anniversary comes as Bosnia faces a fresh political crisis centred on the allocation of state property — an issue that has long ailed the deeply divided Balkan country.

Dodik has long resisted any efforts by the central government to maintain control over state property and passed a law enshrining the RS’s right to own the property of its institutions.

The law was later annulled by Bosnia’s international high representative Christian Schmidt.

Dodik was set to appear in court this week after being indicted for passing a string of laws that would allow the Bosnian Serb entity to bypass or ignore decisions made by Schmidt.

However, the court appearance was postponed to December 6, with Dodik already hinting that he will not comply with the court’s decision if convicted.

Source : barrons