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The National Assembly of Republika Srpska, the Serbian entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has voted to leave key state institutions as it increases efforts to secede from Bosnia.
On Friday, 49 MPs of the 83-seats Assembly voted to withdraw from the Bosnian army, as well as Bosnia’s judiciary and tax system.
The decision comes months after Milorad Dodik, the leader of Serbs in BiH, warned that he would proceed with the secessionist move.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is composed of two entities: Republika Srpska governed by the Serbs of Bosnia, and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina governed by Bosniaks and Croats. The state constitution is based on the 1995 Dayton agreement which brought the Bosnian War to an end after more than 100,000 people were killed in just 3 years.
The two entities are semi-autonomous at the local level but are subject to a central government and other federal state institutions.
The decision comes after repeated calls from the international community against the move and warnings they would impose sanctions.
Reacting to the vote, the embassies of the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Italy, and the EU Special Representative in BiH released a statement condemning the Assembly’s decision to “to create parallel institutions in the Republika Srpska,” labelling it a “a further escalatory step.”
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