International community High Representative in BiH, Valentin Inzko, most probably didn’t realise how much he will be condemned by the Serb community on the Balkans for his statement in which he compared January 9, RS Day, with April 10, the day when Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was established in WWII.
This statement is wrong on several levels. First, Inzko took the liberty to judge who was a good and who a bad player during the war in BiH. This war was stopped by the Dayton Peace Agreement, but without a military win of any side, so Inzko had to know that all sides in BiH consider themselves as winners. Taking that feeling from Serbs, or any other nation, creates a problem in advance. Second, Yugoslavia partizans, consisted mostly by Serbs, were recognized as allies to the SAD and other countries in WWII and Inzko’s homeland Austria was on the other side with Germany. In the end, Inzko with his statement, brought BiH relations back more than half a century and it is uncertain how the state will proceed towards international organizations in the future.
RS Government announced that Inzko’s statement is extremely malicious and shameful.
“The Government deems the presumptuous statement by the High Representative tremendously insulting for all citizens of RS, especially the Serbs and hundreds of Serb victims of the NDH regime and their families”, announced the RS Government.
The Government press release reads that the High Representative’s malicious statement once again shows how his actions are off target and harmful for the entire state of affairs and relations within BiH, and how the institution of the High Representative is extremely incompatible with the process of European integration BiH takes part in.
“The Government of RS qualifies the statement as contrary to the Dayton Peace Accords and regrets to conclude that this is not the first time the High Representative undermined the Dayton Agreement and its Annex IV with his statements and actions, instead of protecting the treaty”, the press release release reads.
BiH Minister of Foreign Affairs, Igor Crnadak, said that Inzko statement is one of the most horrific statements and one directed against RS and Serbs, and against calming of political tensions in BiH.
“Perhaps mister Inzko thinks he only harmed RS with this horrible comparison but he has actually stabbed in the back everyone who is trying to improve the image of BiH in the world and who is trying to lead this country from the period of darkness and conflicts to a better future”, Crnadak said.
He added that RS has people who believe in European values, an anti-fascist people who represent a total opposite to the NDH.
“This people fought and died to defeat the NDH and other fascists and Nazis during the Second World War. To make any kind of comparisons between Republika Srpska and the NDH is a scandal without precedent”, Crnadak said.
Even the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to BiH, Peter Ivantsov, reacted on Inzko statement saying that he is surprised.
“Such assessments by Valentin Inzko, whose obligation is to contribute to a post-conflict reconciliation in BiH, are absolutely unacceptable. They are grossly distorting the reality, creating additional tensions, defying the mandate of the high representative and testifying to his bias”, Ivantsov stressed.
He added that previous high representatives took an active part in marking RS Day in Banja Luka.
A large number of other organizations and institutions also condemned this Inzko statement. Some of them are asking his resignation. The consequences of this statement and all about January 9 will be visible in the future but it would be better for citizens who elected politicians to solve this as soon as is possible and to bring BiH back on the EU path./IBNA