Bosnian Serbs vote despite top court’s ban on referendum
BANJA LUKA, BosniaHerzegovina — Bosnian Serbs on Sunday voted in a referendum banned by the country’s constitutional court, risking Western sanctions against their autonomous region and criminal charges against their leaders.
The vote was whether to keep Jan. 9 as a holiday in Republika Srpska, commemorating the day in 1992 that Bosnian Serbs declared the creation of their own state, igniting the ruinous 1992-’95 war. It comes despite the top court’s ruling that the date, which falls on a Serb Christian Orthodox religious holiday, discriminates against Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats in Bosnia.
The vote has raised fears of renewed fighting as Bosniaks and Croats see the vote as an attempt to elevate the Serb region above the constitutional court.