Political Hostage Crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ethnonationalists Keep Each Other in Power And the People Pay the Price

24 November 2021

Political mishaps and blockades in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), which have become an integral part of the political system in the country, have again become the focus of Europe and the world.

The latest barricade of state institutions has some questioning whether a new armed conflict is possible. For others, the latest decision by the ruling elites from Republika Srpska (RS) has revitalised a decade-long concept of independence of this entity from BiH, which is being promoted by the undisputed Bosnian Serb authoritarian leader Milorad Dodik.

Political Takeover

In public appearances, Dodik often stated — when someone mentioned to him that he was a Bosnian Serb — that he felt as if his healthy tooth was being extracted. Moreover, his presidency does not recognise the legitimacy of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a nation; instead, he considers it a failed and inadequate state while working publicly and openly on its dissolution.

As the leader of Alliance of Independent Social Democrats and in the process of equating himself with Republika Srpska itself, Dodik took over almost all functions in the entity with the tacit consent of close associates — he simultaneously serves as its president, the speaker of parliament, who convenes sessions of the RS National Assembly and determines their agenda, chief epidemiologist, judge and prosecutor.

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Tanja Topić

Journalist and Head of Friedrich Ebert Foundation office in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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