There are few issues in the entity of Republika Srpska (RS) to which both the government and the opposition have a systematized approach. One of those topics is the war past and the attitude towards war criminals who were convicted in The Hague. On Wednesday, High Representative Valentin Inzko reunited them on this issue.
The denial of war crimes and their glorification, even though they have been convicted in an international legal instance, represents the long-standing burden around the neck of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). RS political officials continue to persevere in defending such individuals and, despite all political differences, they agree on that point.
Although Inzko is about to resign from the position of High Representative, it is only in the last six months that he has begun to emphasize more actively and directly those who are brakes of reform, progress, and development. He started giving deadlines and ultimatums, and the focus is on the relationship towards the past.
Firstly, he directly called out Milorad Dodik because of the plaque with the name of Radovan Karadzic at the student dormitory in Pale, and now he has given a deadline for annulling the decision on awarding war criminals in the National Assembly of the RS.
Both the government and the opposition of RS unanimously condemned this call.
None of the entity’s political officials from this entity has any doubts about defending the RS procedure – the official glorification of war criminals. Inzko is rebuked for being late, for dealing with irrelevant issues and they believe that he needs to leave as soon as possible. So, how is it possible to deal with the past when in half of the country, neither the government nor the opposition sees a problem in awarding the criminals who caused the genocide that resulted in displacement, abusement, and torture of thousands…
Reactions from the RS to Inzko’s ultimatum might have been even more tepid had it not been for a single detail in the letter, which served as a trigger for a united condemnation of his call for taking away the war criminals’ recognitions.
In his letter, Inzko told that by taking away those recognitions, “collective responsibility would be removed from the Serbian people, and by removing this collective guilt and eliminating the burdens of the past, the entire nation would be relieved and it would be much easier to move forward towards noble goals of the future…”.
The collective responsibility of the people is not the right term that Inzko should have used. War crimes were committed by individuals, the military, and the institutions they represented. In such a sensitive matter, any generalization is bad and provokes the kind of reactions that come to Inzko after mentioned letter.
Now the focus of the whole act on the necessity of taking away the recognitions for war criminals has redirected to that one sentence, which government politicians and opposition skillfully use in order to demonize the role of the High Representative, Klix.ba writes.