Working Group in US urges Biden to respond to threats against BiH’s sovereignty

Working Group in US urges Biden to respond to threats against BiH’s sovereignty

SARAJEVO, December 14 (FENA) – A group of Bosnians and Herzegovinians and Americans from BiH united in the “Working Group for Bosnia and Herzegovina” sent a letter to US President Joseph Biden, urging him to respond decisively to threats to BiH’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The letter was signed on behalf of the Working Group by David Pettigrew, Professor of Philosophy and Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Southern Connecticut State University and a member of the Board of Directors of the Yale University Genocide Study Program.

As they stated in the letter, it is crucial that “we prevent Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat nationalists from destabilizing Bosnia and Herzegovina by threatening secession or further deepening of ethnic divisions that would ultimately enable the goals of genocide and international aggression from the 1990s to be fulfilled.

The signatories of the letter mention that it is important to support the High Representative of the International Community in BiH, who is the supreme interpreter and protector of the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement.

The BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik has recently stepped up efforts to destabilize Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region by simultaneously boycotting state institutions, undermining the Constitution and threatening to establish an entity army.

In a report to the United Nations Security Council on 5 November 2021, High Representative Christian Schmidt warned that such actions would abandon BiH’s constitutional order and the Dayton PA framework and “have a practical effect of the secession of Republika Srpska from BiH.”

The High Representative called these developments a “serious attack on the Dayton Peace Agreement, which thwarted all hopes for peace and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

It is even more important, however, that any such move by the entity of Republika Srpska towards secession or ‘autonomy’ must not be understood as anything less than the achievement of its genocidal goals, stated the Working Group for BiH.

They recall that the Trial Chamber of the Hague Tribunal found Radovan Karadžić guilty of a joint criminal enterprise aimed at permanently removing the non-Serb population from the territory claimed by Bosnian Serbs and establishing an ethnically homogeneous state.

On December 13, 1995, current US President Biden condemned the atrocities as “Serbian genocidal enterprise” and “cruel genocide”, and described his commitment to BiH as a commitment to the values ​​of justice and a promise that genocide will never happen again and they have issued and appeal to Biden to fulfill that promise by instructing his diplomatic team to ensure that genocidal goals are not achieved.

“After the statement of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on December 9 on the importance of genocide prevention in which he also condemns genocide denial, our letter emphasizes the need for President Biden to prevent a recurrence of international aggression and genocide against BiH. Given that the entity of Republika Srpska is taking steps to form its own judiciary and army, the situation has never been more serious,” Pettigrew warned in a statement for FENA.

The letter also warned that the HDZ President Dragan Čović insists on reforming the Election Law, which he said would enable the election of a representative of his HDZ (Croat Democratic Union) to the BiH Presidency, thus “strengthening ethnic divisions and leading to the creation of a third entity and further destabilization of BiH “.

“Therefore, we urge you to send a negotiating team that would reject such a proposal to reform the election legislation and enable the transition of BiH from a state composed of “constituent peoples” to a modern liberal democracy of citizens with equal rights and dignity,” it is stated in the letter.

They also remind that such goals are openly supported by the Russian Federation, which sees them as an opportunity to prevent Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Euro-Atlantic integration, as we have recently witnessed Russia’s claims that it sees BiH’s NATO membership as a hostile act to which they should respond.

With BiH facing threats from Republika Srpska and Russian interference, the signatories of this letter appeal to Biden-led diplomats to push for an increased EUFOR presence in BiH and launch NATO’s emergency planning.

They expressed confidence that the United States would respond with an unwavering commitment to the values ​​of justice, democracy and human rights, with a lasting promise to prevent a recurrence of genocide and international aggression against BiH.

In addition to Professor Pettigrew, the letter to Biden was signed by Bosnian-American citizens with prominent careers in education, medicine and law, as well as friends of BiH, supported by Satko Mujagić, Munira Subašić, Bakira Hasečić and other survivors, victims of war.