Selmo Cikotic, the former Minister of Defense and adviser to the member of the Presidency of BiH, Bakir Izetbegovic, addressed the public with the intention to comment on the attitude of the Cabinet regarding the participation of the Armed Forces of BiH in the ceremony of marking the “Day of the RS”.
“Engagement of AF BiH on the 8th of January was permitted, which is a kind of civilizational values, traditions, and practices of use of the Armed Forces of BiH. Based on all of these details, engagement of AF BiH was not planned on the 9th of January. President Izetbegovic was surprised by the fact that the unit of AF BiH was used. This is a precedent that a member of the Presidency makes this kind of decision on its own because the Presidency is a collective body and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of BiH, but its members on the individual basis are not,” said Cikotic.
The appeal that Bakir Izetbegovic started four years ago was not aimed to ban marking of the Day of the RS, or to challenge any rights of Serbs in BiH, but to eliminate the discriminatory provisions for other nations in that BH entity.
When it comes to the potential responsibility of those who are responsible for the process with the Armed Forces of BiH, Cikotic said that he believes that any sanctions will depend on the results of the investigation.
“I, with quite long experience with the action and use of the Armed Forces here below the level of the Chief of Joint Staff, I do not see the need to establish the responsibility of one of the people inside the Armed Forces. I do not want to prejudge the results and findings that will be determined when all the facts are examined. All persons in the system of command and control in institutions are subjected to the institute for responsibility. Depending on the degree of impairment of responsibility, they are subjected to mechanisms of responding to violations. It may happen that a member of the Presidency of BiH is held responsible,” explained Cikotic.
On the other hand, the Commander of NATO forces in BiH shall have the authority to sanction those who are responsible for violation of rules and regulations.