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  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Republika Srpska's flirtation in June 2011 with a referendum is a reminder that Bosnia's smaller entity still threatens the stability of the country and the Western Balkans. It is highly unlikely that the RS will secede or that the Bosniaks will attempt to eliminate it, but if its Serb leaders continue driving every conflict with Sarajevo to the brink, as they have done repeatedly to date, they risk disaster. The agility of leaders and the population's patience need only fail once to ignite serious violence. Over the longer term, RS's determination to limit Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to little more than a coordinator between powerful entities may so shrivel the state that it sinks, taking RS with it. RS also suffers from its own internal problems, notably a culture of impunity for political and economic elites and a lingering odour of wartime atrocities. Its leadership, especially its president, Milorad Dodik, needs to compromise with Sarajevo on state building and implement urgent entity-level reforms.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Ethnic Conflict, War
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In preparing for and orchestrating the proximity talks that marked the end of the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH), the authors of the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA) placed a particularly high priority on the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their pre-war homes. Annex 7 of the DPA is devoted entirely to ensuring the right of return. The peacemakers hoped that such return might one day reverse the territorial, political and national partition of the country that the DPA otherwise recognised.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Despite more than six years of increasingly intrusive reforms carried out at the behest of the UN Mission in Bosnia Herzegovina (UNMIBH), the local police cannot yet be counted upon to enforce the law. Too often – like their opposite numbers in the judiciary – nationally partial, under-qualified, underpaid, and sometimes corrupt police officers uphold the law selectively, within a dysfunctional system still controlled by politicised and nationalised interior ministries.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In July 2000, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia Herzegovina made an historic ruling requiring the two entities, the Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska (RS), to amend their constitutions to ensure the full equality of the country's three “constituent peoples” throughout its territory.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: NATO-led troops have played a vital part in securing the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) since their arrival in December 1995. Although authorised by the Dayton Peace Agreement to assist civilian implementation, the military is not obliged to do so. Yet, by evolving in response to developments, the mission has contributed - albeit belatedly and inconsistently - to international civilian efforts to construct a viable state. This shift was reflected in the change of the mission's name in 1996 from Implementation Force (IFOR) to Stabilisation Force (SFOR).
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The current attempts by the leadership of the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ) of Bosnia and Herzegovina to secede from the legal and constitutional structures of the state are the most serious challenge yet to the post-war order established by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Five years after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, which brought an end to almost four years of bloody war in Bosnia, many of those believed to have carried out some of the war's worst atrocities remain at large. The continued presence in the municipalities of Republika Srpska (RS) of individuals suspected of war crimes—some indicated either publicly or secretly by the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)—represents a significant obstacle to the return of ethnic minority refugees. It also undermines seriously Bosnia's chances for building central institutions, generating self-sustainable economic growth, and achieving the political transformation necessary to begin the process of integration with the rest of Europe. Moreover, the continued commitment of most war crimes suspects to the goal of a Greater Serbia, and their willingness to use violence to achieve it, could—in the long term—provoke renewed conflict in Bosnia and continued instability in the Balkans.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Reunification of Mostar is key to the reintegration of separatist Herzegovinian Bosnian Croats into Bosnia. After years of fruitless post-Dayton efforts to wean the Bosnian Croats from Zagreb and reorient them toward a constructive role in Bosnia, the international community at long last has the capability to achieve this goal. The success of the democratic forces in Croatia in the January-February elections there has brought reliable partners to power with whom the international community can work in Bosnia. Policy initiatives in Herzegovina will not require new resources and, if achieved, can lead to a reduction in the international profile in Bosnia. Failure to act on these opportunities will cripple the Bosnian peace effort and weaken the new government in Croatia. These issues present serious policy challenges.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Croatia
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Thousands of people try to find their way daily through an immensely complicated labyrinth established by the three separate and very often conflicting legal systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Evidence presented in this report, the third in the ICG legal project series, proves that unexplained time delays, dubious application of law and blatant ethnic discrimination contribute greatly to the ad hoc nature of Bosnian justice.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In anticipation of the fourth anniversary on 21 November 1999 of the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, this report presents a detailed analysis of the agreement and the future of the Bosnian peace process. The report assesses efforts to implement the agreement annex by annex, identifying obstacles to continued progress and setting out key choices facing international policymakers.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe