25th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement (November 21)
Bosnia and Herzegovina – a conflict on hold (Press Release)
On November 21, 1995, the conflicting parties of the Bosnian war signed a peace agreement in Dayton, Ohio. Today, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) stated that its balance after 25 years is sobering – although it ended the aggression of Serbia and Montenegro and, thus, the bloody war. "The construction flaws of the agreement are detrimental to the development of Bosnia until today," criticized Jasna Causevic, STP expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. "It cemented the ethnic division of the country and created a Serbian sphere of influence that threatens the stability of the entire region. The unjust peace initiated by the West in 1995 did not give the country any prospects for the future. In the local elections on November 15, 2020, the nationalist and ethnicity-centered parties lost some of their power – however, despite this glimmer of hope, Bosnia is still on the brink of a new conflict. The unexpected results of the elections suggest that the younger generation might have sent out a signal of their discontent with the people running their country – but Bosnia has seen "false dawns" before, and this should not be an excuse for the international community to simply sit back and watch what happens next.
With the recognition of the "ethnically cleansed" Republika Srpska as an independent Serbian entity, almost half of the Bosnian territory had been left to the warmongers. "Through the constitution that was drawn up in Dayton, the Republic of Srpska is able to block all the bitterly needed comprehensive reforms in Bosnia," Causevic criticized. "Because of political sabotage and because of a lack of political will in Bosnia, the country has difficulties to take the necessary steps towards an accession to the EU and NATO accession." Reforms are needed – above all in the areas of democracy and the rule of law, but also in public administration. There are also great deficits in the fight against corruption and organized crime. In addition, the neighboring countries Serbia and Croatia are still trying to undermine Bosnia's sovereignty.
In order to pave the way for reforms and to achieve stability and lasting reconciliation, the international community will have to take decisive steps. "It would be particularly important to refocus financial and political support – and it would be a good idea to provide more help on the local level and to support the civil society," Causevic said. "In addition, genocide denial and the glorification of convicted war criminals must become punishable.
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Dayton Agreement, the STP will publish a memorandum that traces the origins of the agreement, analyzes its shortcomings, and formulates clear demands to the European Union and the international community – substantiated by international expert opinions on the comprehensive problems and their effects on the current situation. A summary of the balance sheet and the demands and recommendations of the STP are attached to this press release.