High Rep in BiH Gives RS Entity 3 Months to Annul Honors to War Criminals

The international community’s administrator in Bosnia, Valentin Inzko, sent a letter addressed to the leadership of the Republika Srpska (RS) entity parliament and heads of all its caucuses, requesting that charters issued by this institution to those convicted of war crimes be annulled within three months. 

“On October 24, 2016, the organizing committee which was established to mark the 25th anniversary of the existence and work of the RS National Assembly (as the parliament is officially called), awarded special charters and recognitions to numerous institutions, organizations and individuals, and you as the Speaker of the RSNA (Nedeljko Cubrilovic) had presented them. Among those who received them were all former speakers of the National Assembly and members of the First Presidency of the RS, including Radovan Karadzic, Momcilo Krajisnik, and Biljana Plavsic, whose actions shocked the world during the armed conflict [in Bosnia] and caused unimaginable human suffering. As you know, Karadzic, Krajisnik, and Plavsic were convicted of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia”, reads the letter from the High Representative in BiH who is in charge of overseeing the civilian implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement which ended the war 1992-1995 in the country. 

It further states that “the glorification of war criminals, including glorification in the form which we witnessed on October 24, 2016, directly hurts and provokes those who suffered the consequences of the war and damages the memory of the victims.” 

“In the end, it destabilizes the region and threatens the prospects for reconciliation in BiH”, Inzko said. 

Inzko noted that the removal of the plaque of the convicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic from the premises of the student dormitory in Pale, near Sarajevo, was the first step in the right direction. 

“This creates an extraordinary opportunity for the RSNA, under your leadership, to continue on this path and to show political maturity, moral responsibility, and moderation towards the future, by revoking the charters with decorations awarded to convicted war criminals Karadzic, Krajisnik and Plavsic, which would place you personally and the institution you lead on the right side of history. I am giving you and the RSNA a period of three months, until the end of April 2021 [to do so]”, Inzko stated in a letter to Cubrilovic. 

On 24 October 2016, the RS National Assembly (RSNA) marked the 25th anniversary of the withdrawal of Serb delegates from the former Socialist Republic of BiH’s Parliamentary Assembly and the formation of the Assembly of Serb People in BiH. On this occasion, the current RSNA leadership gave special awards to all former RSNA speakers and members of the first RS Presidency, including convicted war criminals Biljana Plavsic and Momcilo Krajisnik, as well as Radovan Karadzic, who was convicted of crimes against humanity. 

The event resulted in condemnations by various international organizations. 

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