Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dodik: Bosniak leaders promoting crimes against Serbs

BANJALUKA - Republika Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik has criticised Bosniak officials in the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) leadership who are defending Naser Oric, a wartime Army of BiH commander in Srebrenica, for whom the Interpol National Central Bureau for Serbia has issued an arrest warrant for war crimes committed against Serbs.

  In an interview published in Wednesday's issue of EuroBlic, Dodik accused Bosniak leaders of "using BiH state institutions to promote crimes committed against Serbs," announcing that Republika Srpska will "respond adequately". He explained that Serb representatives will not boycott the joint BiH institutions as that would be detrimental to projects involving Republika Srpska, such as construction of a section of the South Stream gas pipeline. 

 However, Dodik said that the Bosniak leaders' support to Oric will have an impact on the positions of RS representatives, who will exercise caution when making decisions in joint state institutions and bodies in the future. The Serbian Prosecutor's Office for War Crimes has issued an international arrest warrant for Oric and Hakija Meholjic - a wartime police chief in Srebrenica - who are suspected of war crimes committed against Serbs in eastern Bosnia. They are charged with killing nine Serb civilians on July 12, 1992 in Zalazje, Donji Potocari in the Srebrenica municipality. 

 The most influential Bosniak political leaders - Bakir Izetbegovic, a member of the BiH Presidency and deputy leader of the Democratic Action Party, Fahrudin Radoncic, minister of security and leader of the Alliance for a Better Future, and Zlatko Lagumdzija, vice-chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers and leader of the Social Democratic Party - met with Oric and Meholjic on January 30 in the BiH Presidency building, pledging state protection to them. 

 On behalf of their parties, they could have reacted in any way they wanted, but their abuse of top government positions in support of persons suspected of war crimes committed against Serbs is impermissible, Dodik said. This particularly applies to Lagumdzija and Radoncic, who, as Bosniak leaders, have been elected to government office with consent of Republika Srpska, unlike Izetbegovic, a Bosniak representative in the joint state Presidency, Dodik explained. Photo Tanjug, Z. Zestic (archive)

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