Bosnia: International envoy to unveil police reform plan
The international community’s top official in Bosnia, Slovak diplomat Miroslav Lajcak, said on Wednesday he has a blueprint for reform under wraps which would pave the way for pre-entry talks with the European Union.
Lajcak said he would reveal his plan at a series of meetings with the political leaders of Bosnia’s parliamentary parties later on Wednesday.
Serb entity president Milan Jelic, said Serbs wouldn’t consent to the abolition of their police force. He said they would begin court proceedings to have powers returned to their entity which have been “unconstitutionally” transferred to the central government.
“There is no alternative to the Bosnian police force. It must remain,” Jelic said.
Bosnian Serbs have “no feeling for Bosnian patriotism” which local Muslims and the international community is trying to impose, because Bosnia is “stalling the RS’s development,” Jelic added.
Lajcak hopes to reach a compromise solution on police reforms. However the outcome of the party talks is as yet uncertain. Bosnian Serb leaders share Jelic’s opposition to abolishing the Serb entity’s police
Under the Dayton peace accord that ended Bosnia’s bloody 1992-1995 civil war, the country was divided into a Serb and a Muslim-Croat entity, each with most state attributes.
Police and constitutional reforms remain the last barrier along Bosnia’s road to European membership. However, the country’s Muslim majority has called for the RS’s abolition, claiming it is a “creature of genocide.”
Croats, the country’s third largest ethnic group, want their own entity.
The international community, which safeguards peace in Bosnia, has gradually stripped the entities of their powers in an effort to strengthen the central government – a process which Serbs say must stop.