Germany threatens measures over “unacceptable” Bosnian Serb talk of secession
Written by on November 12, 2021
November 12, 2021
BERLIN (Reuters) -Germany threatened on Friday to cut financial support to Bosnia, labelling calls for parts of Bosnia to secede or for the Balkan state to be weakened “irresponsible and unacceptable” and naming Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik as a particular culprit.
Bosnia is experiencing its gravest political crisis https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/what-is-causing-political-crisis-bosnia-2021-11-03 since the end of the war in the 1990s, reviving fears of a new conflict after Bosnian Serbs at the end of July blocked the work of the central government while Dodik announced measures aimed at unraveling key state institutions.
“We will not be able to accept the continuation of this irresponsible policy without taking action,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Bosnian online platform politicki.ba.
“Germany is the largest bilateral supporter of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he added. “But it is clear: we cannot and will not channel German taxpayers’ money into an entity that is actively working to destroy Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole state.”
Maas said Germany “will also think about individual measures against those who question the territorial integrity of the country,” adding that Berlin was coordinating closely with its European Union partners, the United States and Britain.
Dodik, whose secessionist ideas are widely seen as endangering a Bosnian peace deal, said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday https://www.reuters.com/world/ill-not-sacrifice-peace-republika-srpska-bosnian-serb-leader-says-2021-11-11 that no political goals were worth the sacrificing of peace in Bosnia.
Under the U.S.-sponsored Dayton peace accords that ended the devastating 1992-1995 war, Bosnia was split into two autonomous regions – the Serb Republic and the Federation dominated by Croats and Muslim Bosniaks, linked by a weak central government.
The country’s constitution is part of the peace deal.
German Foreign Ministry spokesperson Andrea Sasse said the situation in Bosnia would be discussed by European Union foreign ministers on Monday.
“Calls for secession and steps to weaken the whole state, especially from Republika Srpska and from Milorad Dodik, the Serbian member of the three-member presidency, are totally irresponsible and unacceptable,” Sasse said.
(Reporting by Thomas EscrittEditing by Paul Carrel and Andrei Khalip)