Bosnian Serb Leader Pledges No War But Demands Full Autonomy
(Bloomberg) -- Bosnian Serbs won’t wage war “even if attacked” but want to have full autonomy in Bosnia-Herzegovina, their top representative said.
At the same time, Milorad Dodik, who represents Serbs in Bosnia’s presidency, outlined plans on Tuesday to downsize the joint military created in 2006 by merging the once separate forces in the two entities.
“Republika Srpska won’t wage war even if attacked,” Dodik said, adding that “Bosnia is an empty shell” and that both entities should be treated as de facto sovereign states.
Dodik, who spoke in Belgrade days after talks in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin about disputes over power-sharing in the former Yugoslav republic, has repeatedly threatened to secede the Serb entity, known as Republika Srpska. He claims that international officials overseeing Bosnia’s post-war development imposed reforms to centralize the country.
More than 100,000 people died in the 1992-1995 Bosnia war that ended with the creation of two autonomous entities, one for the local Serbs and another shared by Muslims and Croats, linked by a central government.
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