Bos­nian Serb ref­er­en­dum on dis­puted 9 Jan­uary hol­i­day

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Bos­nian Serbs are vot­ing on whether to keep 9 Jan­uary as a na­tional hol­i­day in de­fi­ance of Bos­nia’s high­est court. It has ruled the date dis­crim­i­nates against Mus­lim Bos­ni­aks and Catholic Croats and should be changed. nSerbs de­clared the cre­ation of their own state within Bos­nia on 9 Jan­uary 1992, fu­elling an eth­nic con­flict in which about 100,000 peo­ple died. Bos­nia is still split along eth­nic lines between the main­lySerb en­tity and a Mus­lim-Croat fed­er­a­tion. The Con­sti­tu­tional Court, based in the Bos­nian cap­i­tal Sara­jevo, banned the ref­er­en­dum. Polls opened at 7am and closed at 7pm. About 1.2 mil­lion peo­ple are el­i­gi­ble to vote. As well as be­ing the an­niver­sary of the dec­la­ra­tion of a Bos­nian Serb state, 9 Jan­uary is an Ortho­dox Chris­tian hol­i­day. “The Repub­lic is go­ing into a ref­er­en­dum. It’s a great day for our Repub­lic and our peo­ple,” Mr Dodik said on Fri­day. “We have to show our dig­nity, that we are a demo­cratic peo­ple and that we have the right to make our own de­ci­sions.” But Bos­niak leader Bakir Izetbe­govic has ac­cused Mr Dodik of “play­ing with fire”. The Bos­nian Serb leader has been de­lib­er­ately provoca­tive by in­sist­ing on cel­e­brat­ing the na­tional hol­i­day on 9 Jan­uary. An­a­lysts say by flout­ing the court, one of the fed­eral in­sti­tu­tions set up at the end of the war 21 years ago, Mr Dodik is threat­en­ing the Dayton peace agree­ment, which ended the war in 1995

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.