Secession Not On Agenda, But Dodik Wants ‘Far More Autonomy’ For Bosnian Serbs

SARAJEVO — Milorad Dodik, the Bosnian Serb member of Bosnia’s multiethnic presidency, says Bosnian Serbs are ready to preserve the integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state, but only if they get ”far more autonomy.”

In a telephone interview with RFE/RL on April 23, Dodik said that it was ”difficult” for Serbs to accept being part of Bosnia.

But he insisted that secession was not on the agenda of Republika Srpska, Bosnia’s predominantly ethnic Serb-populated entity, adding that the issue only arose as a possibility in the ”distant future” if the views of Bosnian Serbs are not respected.

”We are ready to…preserve Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state in the present territory, but we must also have far more autonomy than we do today,” Dodik said.

Bosnia remains deeply divided along ethnic lines. The country emerged from the 1992-95 Bosnian War as two autonomous regions — the mainly Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Republika Srpska — united under a weak central government.

Dodik has repeatedly called for a referendum on the status of the Serb-led entity, saying Bosnian Serbs had a right to decide their own future.

Tensions have flared in the Balkan country since the Constitutional Court in February ruled that unclaimed agricultural land became automatically the property of the central Bosnian state rather than Republika Srpska — contradicting Bosnian Serb law.

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» Secession Not On Agenda, But Dodik Wants ‘Far More Autonomy’ For Bosnian Serbs | Radio Free | Radio Free | https://www.radiofree.org/2020/04/23/secession-not-on-agenda-but-dodik-wants-far-more-autonomy-for-bosnian-serbs/ | 2022-05-19T02:32:16+00:00
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