Books on Bosnia & Herzegovina
Update No: 102 - (27/10/05)
Change of viceroys impending; Dutchman top candidate to
Dutch career diplomat Michiel Patijn has a good chance to succeed Paddy Ashdown
as the EU's special representative in Bosnia, according to Dutch media. On the
basis of senior sources in the Dutch foreign ministry, Dutch weekly Vrij
Nederland reports that Mr Patijn, who just stepped down as Dutch ambassador with
NATO, is set to succeed Mr Ashdown. But according to NRC Handelsblad, Czech and
Italian candidates are also in the running for the post.
Mr Patijn, a liberal like Mr Ashdown, has been a Dutch state secretary for
European affairs, as well as a top official at The Hague's defence ministry.
Mr Ashdown's job combines the function of EU special representative with that of
High Representative of the International Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The post was installed as part of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, and involves
wide-ranging competencies including the possible blocking of Bosnian legislation
as well as the sacking of high Bosnian officials, including ministers.
Ashdown is said to have recently exerted strong pressure on the Bosnian Serb
leadership to accept a key police reform necessary for Bosnia to begin talks on
a preliminary Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Brussels.
The parliament of the Republika Srpska, the ethnic Serb entity within
Bosnia-Herzegovina, has by a large majority adopted the controversial police
reform, which it had by an equally large majority rejected three weeks
previously. This reversal is due to Ashdown's vigorous lobbying. His
barnstorming methods have aroused criticism in certain quarters. But he has been
the most effective of the Viceroys of Bosnia so far.
Turkish Delight for Bosnia
The Bosnians have reason to be chuffed at one very important recent development,
the start of EU entry talks with Turkey. If the Turks are going to join, it
would be inconceivable that Bosnia should not do so too - and a lot earlier.
The international community has after all taken responsibility for the
federation. It would be a reflection on a succession of international
administrators if Bosnia were not a priority country for membership in the next
but one wave of accession, maybe 2009-12.
Bosnia is now set to follow the EU path of Croatia, which started EU accession
talks in October, and of Serbia, which opened SAA talks in September.
Ashdown satisfied with report on Srebrenica suspects
If Bosnia is to start negotiations soon, the sooner it clears up the grim
residues from the past, the better.
Ashdown has expressed a rare satisfaction with the cooperation of the Bosnian
Serb authorities in submitting to him a list of 17,000 people suspected of being
involved in the massacre of up to 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica in July 1995. Some
900 on the list are believed to hold government police or army posts in the
Bosnian Serb entity Republika Srpska (RS). Ashdown said the report showed the RS
government was fulfilling its obligations to bring the Srebrenica case to a
conclusion and the culprits to justice.
British diplomat Ashdown has been very critical lately of RS authorities for
lack of cooperation on the issue of war crimes and for blocking police reforms
aimed at creating a unified police at the country level.
Serbs oppose Ashdown's moves to strengthen the central government, accusing him
of trying to destroy RS, which was granted most state prerogatives by the Dayton
peace agreement that ended Bosnian civil war in 1995.
The lack of cooperation has slowed Bosnia's drive to join the European Union and
the NATO Partnership for Peace Programme. But the Serb leadership seems to have
yielded under constant pressure and the threat of sanctions.
Ashdown said the latest report on Srebrenica represented "a serious attempt
to compile a comprehensive list of all persons involved in Srebrenica
He said he would focus first on prosecuting individuals who might still be
active in politics or held important government position. Last year he sacked 60
Serb political leaders for lack of cooperation on war crimes.
Austria plans conference on Balkans in 2006 - Fischer
Austria plans on holding a conference on the Balkans in the first half of
2006, when it takes over the presidency of the European Union, President Heinz
Fischer said in Zagreb on October 15th. Speaking at the final press conference
of Central European presidents at the end of the two-day Croatia Summit 2005,
Fischer said the summit had proved that other countries in the region were also
interested in European integration. He said the summit had been very successful
and an opportunity for presidents of Central European countries to get to know
each other better.
Bosnia and Herzegovina President Ivo Miro Jovic said the Zagreb summit would
support his country's attempts to adopt EU standards and that it had
demonstrated that the EU was open for all who organised their country in
accordance with principles valid in Europe.
Moldova and Bosnia/Herzegovina agree on cooperation
Moldovan President, Vladimir Voronin, and President of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Ivo Miro Jovic, have agreed on an exchange of visits by parliamentary and
governmental delegations of the two countries. This accord was achieved in the
framework of bilateral meetings of the heads of Central European states who
gathered in Zagreb (Croatia) for their 12th Summit.
The two Presidents have also agreed that Ivo Miro Jovic will pay a visit to the
Republic of Moldova.
Vladimir Voronin said that for Moldova, collaboration with Bosnia and
Herzegovina is particularly important because it has signed the Stability Pact
for South Eastern Europe. The availability of Agreements on free trade exchange
with all the Pact member states opens to Moldova wide possibilities for economic
The two Presidents share an opinion that Moldova and Bosnia and Herzegovina have
much in common in their development and come across similar problems, therefore
it is essential for them to maintain a continuous dialog.
Bosnia-Herzegovina's BH Telecom deploys Marconi's multiservice optical platform
Marconi recently announced that BH Telecom, the largest operator in
Bosnia-Herzegovina to provide fixed, mobile, and data services, has upgraded its
core network by introducing Marconi's next generation multiservice optical
platform, the OMS1664, Lightwave Europe reported.
According to a press release, the upgrade is allowing the operator to seamlessly
support increasing levels of voice and data traffic alongside other broadband
services, while substantially reducing operating costs and increasing the
flexibility of its network.
"Since we started our major roll-out of ADSL services back in 2003, we have
remained committed to providing innovative broadband services to our customers,
using leading edge technology," Ibrahim Klouder, acting director of BH
Telecom, said. "We selected Marconi's platform as it is specifically
designed for a market with increasing demand for data services, and allows us to
deliver voice, video, and data services over a single network. The OMS1664 has
been tested within our network, and we are fully satisfied with its
Marconi's ServiceOn network management system will manage the platform, with the
vendor also providing installation and commissioning services.
"This contract with BH Telecom builds on our recent success in Central and
Eastern Europe," says Dr. Stefan Kindt, managing director of Marconi
Communications. "The market is hungry for state-of-the-art technology
capable of supporting growing customer demand for new data services, and the
OMS1664 enables operators to rapidly and efficiently deliver multiple data
services across the entire network."