Bos­nian Serbs vote de­spite top court’s ban on ref­er­en­dum

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD -

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.

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