EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi facilitated the special session of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, the Serbian entity of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that led to its withdrawal from the country’s key state institutions.
Bosnian media Istraga.ba published an internal report from the European Commission where Várhelyi confirms that the special session of the National Assembly will take place on December 10. The report declares that in return, Serbian politicians will agree to a six-month moratorium on the adoption of the law on Republika Srpska’s withdrawal from the Bosnian army, judiciary and tax systems.
Várhelyi conceded to this meeting in an effort to appease Republika Srpska’s leader Milorad Dodik as the EU works to amend a recent genocide denial law.
The Commissioner’s report blames former UN High Representative Valentin Inzko for Bosnia’s current crisis. In July, Inzko used his executive powers to criminalize genocide denial, amending Bosnia’s penal code. Under the new law, genocide deniers can now be punished from 6 months to 5 years in prison.
The decision infuriated Dodik, a recidivist genocide denier, who threatened to undo the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Genocide did not happen in Srebrenica,” Dodik stated in a press conference after the news. “This is the final nail in the coffin of the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Republika Srpska has no choice but to launch the process of dissolution.”
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