United Nations plans to alter the balance of power in the Bosnian parliament have sparked mass street demonstrations. The UN envoy to Bosnia Herzegovina has told politicians to reform the political system by the end of the year – or else. Miroslav Lajcak claims crucial policies are being held hostage to inter-ethnic bickering.
The Bosnian Serb Prime Minister is incensed. “We say fire us if you have to,” said Milorad Dodik . “But I tell you what we’ll do next. We’ll start a riot.”
After the war of 1992-1995, Bosnia was divided into two distinct parts – the Bosnian Serb Republic and the Muslim Croat Federation – both regions represented in parliament.
Now the UN proposals, which could be imposed, want to cancel the Bosnian Serb veto and make boycotts ineffective. Bosnian Serbs fear the Muslim and Croat majority would outvote them. That is why thousands of them are in the streets.
“We just want things to remain the same,” said one protestor. “What we have been given in [the]Dayton [agreement] must stay.”
But the UN insists the situation has to change, because it is effectively blocking Bosnia’s chances of joining the European Union.