Time for Robust Engagement in BiH

The international community’s High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, has said that the international community can be expected to step up its involvement in sorting out the situation in the country and that Germany will have a special role in that process. 

I think that now there will be a turnaround and greater engagement on the part of Germany, and that will be to the benefit of both Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans, Inzko said in an interview with the local FTV broadcaster on Saturday (26.12). 

He made the statement following speculation that he will be replaced early next year by a Conservative German politician Christian Schmidt, who is expected to lead increased efforts to remove blockades that have been preventing any progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina for years. 

Inzko would not confirm directly that he would be succeeded by Schmidt but he noted that a robust international policy was definitely necessary for Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Inzko is optimistic that this will happen also because of the fact that the office of US president will soon be taken over by Joe Biden, whose position on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is similar to that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

Inzko noted that his efforts to make the situation in the country start to change had already yielded results because, after his ultimatum to Milorad Dodik, a plaque with the name of convicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic was removed from the entrance to a student dormitory at Pale outside Sarajevo, and the compromised president of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (VSTV), Milan Tegeltija, who is close to Dodik, stepped down. 

That phase should continue, with me or the new High Representative, but that decision is up to the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), said the Austrian diplomat. 

He said that he had already prepared a bill to ban the denial of the Srebrenica genocide, based on the model in force in Austria strictly penalizes the negation of the Holocaust. 

The bill will be submitted to the parliament for consideration and adoption in early January. 

If that is not possible, Inzko said he would consider further steps, an indication that there was a possibility he would use his powers to impose such a law. 

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