Bosnians, Croatians and Serbians are highly nervous and stressed nowadays. Fragile stability become more breakable after the Freedom Declaration of Kosovo. Serbians were defining the Kosovo territory as a Serbian land so this Freedom Declaration alerted the Serbians in Bosnia Herzegovina.
War drums and separation signals are aimed to Serbians in Bosnia in the most problematic country of Balkans: Bosnia Herzegovina.
Serbians in Bosnia are defending that country cannot live in this situation of conflict possibility any more so a referendum should be made for deciding separation.
While the memories of thousands of death which died in the war between 1992 and 1995 are fresh and while former prime minister of Bosnia, Serbian Radovan Karacic’s judgment is not finished, this separation demand stressed the region a lot.
Complicated Dayton Agreement which was signed in 1995, cannot be exercised anymore. Dayton Agreement which was signed after the efforts of an American Diplomat Richard Holbrooke were could only be signed by the compromises given to both Yugoslavian leader Milosevic and Serbian Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina leader Karacic. Milosevic was died in a prison in Lahey before telling his truths and Karacic has started to tell what he knows after a long and slow judging process in the same place which Milosevic was died.
Karacic is accused for responsibility of thousands of death and for 11 war crimes. It is expected that his case will not come to a conclusion before the year 2012.
On the other hand political crisis in Bosnia may lead to many changes until 2012.
The leader of Republic of Serbia, Milorad Dodik offered joining with Serbia in a meeting which was held in Vogosca city near Sarajevo with Bosnia Serbians. Dodik was argued that Serbians rights are not still given in Bosnia Herzegovina and he offered a referendum in April. Dodik’s offer was accepted by consent.
Serbian Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina Parliament approved the draft law with 46 votes against 16 votes, which was designed to make referendums easier after the session which was lasted for two days in 12th of February. By using the existing law, Croatian and Muslim minorities could hinder the referendum with the wait up tactic. New law removed the time limitation and tactics cannot work on this new law.
US and EU warned about a potential intervention on Bosnia Constitution towards this move which is counted as a step to freedom. Dodik who decided to have a referendum, was disagreed with the idea of three nations’ live with harmony and he added that conflicts between these nations are started centuries ago.
“While this territory was Ottoman for 500 years Muslims or they can be called as Bosnians were feeling comfortable and they were feeling themselves as they were integrated to the society. Austria Hungary became sovereign after Ottoman Empire and in the Austria Hungary era Serbians and Muslims were feeling themselves as under pressure. Croatians were feeling comfortable. In the Yugoslavia period, Serbians were comfortable because they were living in a society in which Serbians were the majority. Dodik was argued that Serbians rights are not still given in Bosnia Herzegovina and he offered a referendum in April. Dodik’s offer was accepted by consent.
According to the Dayton Agreement which was ended the war in 1995, each nation has a quota on politics. Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian presidents are transforming in each 8 months period.
All three nations’ agreement is needed to decide about important issues. This state structure is not designed for finding solutions; it is designed for not to giving power to one hand, it is for not to give power to one nation. Because of this Bosnia Herzegovina politicians are trying to make new arrangements on constitution.
New arrangements include fundamental changes like reforming census and reforming new administrative borders. Actions for these changes did not success in 2009 and change is not seem possible in this year too. For changing the existing structure which has two entities and ten cantons, three nations should accept it. This is not possible with the new referendum decision of Serbians. Serbian Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina decision of joining with Serbia which was taken by the lead of autonomous Serbian Repulic’s(it is bound to Bosnia Herzegovina) President Dodik, was criticized by both Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia.
Former Croatia President Stipe Mesic stated right before he was leaving, that if Bosnia Serbians decide to join up with Serbia with a referendum, Croatia may make a military intervention against this.
There are Croatians living in the Republic of Serbia and we will not leave them to live under Serbia after the war happened.
Serbia does not giving an explicit declaration about the issue.
It is assumed that Belgrade Government is helping Serbian Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina by unofficial ways and they are making plans for annexation of Serbian Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina and Serbia.
Serbia is helped by Russia, Bosnians and Croatians are taking help from US and EU.
This complicated political chess may end up the history of young Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina.
Nobody wants a Yugoslavian disaster again, especially when extreme nationalist elements are cleaned from Serbia but this political stress is not expected to lead people to a logical conclusion.
Kosovo’s declaration of freedom and its recognition by west resulted as recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russia.
Is it the turn for Serbian Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina now?
Referendum which will be held in April, this year will be the tipping point.In the short period until April, international actors’ visits to Sarajevo Airport will be seen more often. Turkey is also trying hard to help for keeping the stability in that territory but Turkey cannot affect Serbians too much for sure. There are two convincing factors for Serbians, first is EU and second is their traditional strategic ally Russia.
It is understood that Brussels, Moscow and Washington will have to start negotiating for a new Dayton. If Croatia reacts with an military intervention against a separation decision, Serbia would want to react in the same way. In this case, Balkans may have a new bloodshed. This kind of a conflict expected to have a controlled and local course. If Russia and Germany do not show up with Serbia and Croatia then if Germany which use Croatia as its backyard, cannot activate EU, Germany may behave by itself. In this kind of a situation Serbia would want Russian help. Russia which has a special link with Europe through Germany and France, may not want to be a part of this asymmetric war. If Moscow stands strong with Serbians, Europe’s relation with Russia would be collapsed in spite of the US affect.
Lets see if negotiations may come to a conclusion in a time which economic crisis is paralyzing all super powers.
If negotiations do not come to a conclusion then new conflicts and wars may start in Bosnia Herzegovina. A new conflict in Balkans will make the Bosnia an arena for testing relations with EU and Russia.