Office of High Representative comments on RS Reserve Police Unit

The current political discourse related to reserve police forces in the entities, which started with the unilateral step taken by the RS on this issue, does not contribute to peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the contrary, it has generated a negative spiral of mistrust and competition and even fear. The current dynamic is worrying as it undermines stability by creating tensions and divisions in the country, that are ultimate of no benefit to the citizens of BiH.

Rather than unilaterally establishing reserve police forces, authorities on all levels should work towards better cooperation in order to maximize public security and ensure a safe and secure environment. There is no convincing reason to unilaterally establish reserve police forces. Immigration, refugee and asylum policy are the constitutional responsibility of state institutions, and their capacity should be reinforced. This would be an appropriate example of better cooperation.

In this context, we urge the RS authorities not to proceed with further legislative procedure regarding the Law on Police and Internal Affairs, but to open dialogue with their counterparts at the state and Federation levels, as well as the International Community.

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