Bosnian Serb opposition dismiss Republika Srpska leader's claim that he may go for independence if country is not reorganised as a tripartite confederation.
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said if a deal on Bosnia as a confederation of three units is not possible, Bosnia's mainly Serbian entity, Republika Srpska, RS, reserved a right to hold a referendum on seeking outright independence.
“We do not exclude the possibility that the RS will maintain its right in future to call and implement a referendum on its status,” the President of the Republika Srpska said in Banja Luka on April 1.
The opposition Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, ridiculed the call, however, saying Dodik was only raising the issue of a referendum ahead of elections planned for October and was using it to manipulate voters.
The head of the SDS, Mladen Bosic, on Tuesday asked why Dodik had done nothing about independence after nine years of power.
He also said Dodik's apparent support for the creation of a third, Croatian entity in Bosnia was putting the Republika Srpska in jeopardy, as a third entity which would mean unraveling the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the 1992-5 war in Bosnia.
Dodik also said in his Tuesday press conference the Republika Srpska was firmly against Bosnia joining NATO.
NATO waged an air campaign against Serbia in 1999 to force Serbian forces to withdraw from Kosovo.
“The experience of being bombed [in 1999] and the fact that... Turkey wants Bosnia to join NATO says enough of how careful we should be,” Dodik said referring to Turkey as a a key foreign ally of Bosniaks or Bosnia's Muslim community.
“Relations with Belgrade are more important to us than relations with Sarajevo and NATO,” he added.
Most analysts in Bosnia accept that Bosnia's potential NATO membership depends on Serbia taking a lead on the issue. So far, Serbia has said it is sticking to its current policy of military neutrality.
Autor: Elvira M. Jukic